Two teenagers stopped by weather
By Cameron Robbins
On Tuesday December 21, two young men, 18 & 19, started hiking from Palm Springs to the tram via the Skyline Trail. The weather forecast was for snow in the high country, and rain down below, and later that afternoon the storm hit. The hikers walked up into the snow just a short ways, when they decided to turn back because of the storm and cold, which they were not prepared. When it became apparent that they would be forced to bivouac they tried to use their small radio, it did not work. As they suffered through the night, their parents, now quite worried, called for help.
Early in the morning the call came through. In the meantime the parents had hired a helicopter and it was flying with two P.S. Mounties when the first RMRU members arrived.
Plans were quickly formulated and Randy Iwasiuk and Mark Rhoads were sent up the tram to check out the ridge along Long Valley. Bernie McIlvoy and J.R. Muratet were to go from the tram down the Skyline Ridge. Mel Krug and I were to fly up the trail as far as possible and then be let off, and hike down the trail. The winds kept the bird piloted by Mike Donovan from Landells Aviation from going much above snowline. Kevin Walker rode as observer as Mel and I were being flown into position. Mel spotted the subjects hiking down into Tahquitz Canyon above the third falls, where they would have had some major difficulties, being unfamiliar with the area. Mike set the bird down and let the three of us out. After making contact with the subjects, we loaded them in the back of the bird, Mike then flew them back to Ann Dolly's, and then returned for us.
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