Two climbers overdue

November 06, 1978
North Face of Mt. San Jacinto

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By Brian Hixson

Just as I was coming out of a Biology lecture, the pager sounded, and I went to the nearest telephone. Upon phoning in I received the information that two climbers were overdue from a climb of the North Face of Mt. San Jacinto. I rushed home, gathered up my gear, and headed towards the road head.

We made our Base Camp at the community of Snow Creek, which is at the foot of the North Face. When I arrived, Don Landells had just landed in his Bell Jet Ranger. Kevin Walker and Jim Fairchild had been selected by Operations Leader Walt Walker to be the first team to be flown part way up the mountain. The plan was to have them check for tracks, fly two more members to the top for a check, then put two more in the bird to fly as observers.

Just as Kevin and Jim were about to climb into the bird we received a message, via the sheriff's radio, that the two overdue climbers had hiked out to the Long Valley Ranger Station. So, we loaded up our cars and headed home.