Two Lost Hikers
Written by Cameron Dickinson
The team received a call-out on a Sunday night at approximately 9:30pm regarding two hikers who became lost sometime after reaching San Jacinto Peak. Within 5 minutes after receiving the call, I was out the door and in route start the search. Five other team members would also respond to the call. After receiving GPS coordinates of the location of our lost subjects, it was determined that base command would be set up at Humber Park Trailhead in Idyllwild.
Once I arrived, I would be greeted by our Riverside Sheriff’s Deputy who would brief the team with information on our missing subjects. Team members Ray and Shani would soon arrive. Since Ray would manage radio communications, Shani and I would be the first team out in the field to initiate the search. Our Deputy provided us with key information about our lost subjects as well as the GPS coordinates of their location.
We were looking for two male subjects in their mid-20’s. Their initial plan was to hike from the Tramway to San Jacinto Peak, and return to the Tram the same way they came up. As they were heading back down from the peak, they made a wrong turn in the trail intersection and ended up further south on the Angels Glide Trail heading towards Idyllwild. They realized they were lost and it was getting dark, they were out of food, water, had no cold weather clothing, and a dead cell phone battery. Luckily, they came across some PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) hikers that were camping out for night, who offered them some food and water. The PCT hikers also called 911 and provided GPS coordinates of the location our lost hikers.
Shani and I would begin our hike. Approximately 15 minutes later, our second team consisting of Tony and Michael, would head up the trail behind us. Another team member Dana Potts had arrived and would manage base along with Ray. After 2.5 hours of hiking we would reach our subjects. They were in good condition, however one of the male hikers did have some knee pain which we were able to provide some temporary relief by compressing/supporting with elastic bandage wraps. They did have a large campfire going to stay warm, but we had to quickly extinguish as it is illegal to have campfires openly in our local mountains. Since we had already reached our subjects, our second team would hold their position in Saddle Junction and act as radio relay between us and base, as it’s somewhat difficult for us to get direct radio communication to base from our location with the subjects.
(Cam, Shani, Subjects, Tony, Michael, Raymond) back at base
We would hike back with our subjects and soon met up with Team 2, where we would all hike back together down to Humber Park Trailhead. Our lost hikers made it back safely, however exhausted from their ordeal.
RMRU Members Involved: Cameron Dickinson, Michael George, Tony Hughes, Dana Potts, Shani Pynn, and Ray Weden.