Woman missing for 4 months

January 8, 1983
Tahquitz Canyon

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By Rick 'Major Disaster' Pohlers

HOLY MACKEREL - RMRU member Kevin Walker seems to be in a spot as Mel Krug quietly sneaks off. Seriously, there are many such difficulties when descending Tahquitz Canyon. This section is a short distance above the third falls. (photo by Glenn Henderson)January training is normally our annual winter shakedown, however this year it was different. The sheriff had a problem that he needed help on, so being nice guys we accepted his offer to go hiking in Tahquitz Canyon instead of playing in the snow.

The problem was a missing woman. Seems that she went hiking with some friends in the canyon but became tuckered out and was left at about the third falls to meet another party coming down. The other party never saw her and neither has anybody else since September. Boy talk about a cold trail! It was going to be tough to track her.

It was delightful in Palm Springs that Saturday, could see why all the eastern folks fill up the town. We had a tremendous turn out with 25 guys and one den mother there to participate in the arduous task of looking under every rock and bush for any tell tale sign. There was even media coverage there, and a lot of attention was paid to the very cute media personnel by the troops.

VIEW FROM THE TOP - This is what one of Tahquitz Canyons many waterfalls looks like from the top. RMRU members Bernie McIlvoy and J2.7 Muratet can be seen on a ledge at about the middle of the falls. (photo by Glenn Henderson)The group was divided into teams, the 'A' team, commanded by 'Mr. W' Walt Walker, was made up of our veteran world class mountaineers such as Pete Carlson, Bernie McIlvoy, Larry Roland, Ed Hill and Jim Garvey. The 'B' team, commanded by 'Major Disaster' Rick Pohlers was made up of probationary members, green weenie recipients, goof ups, mal contents and klutzes such as Joe Erickson, Kevin Walker, Mel Krug, Hal Fulkman, and others too numerous to mention.

Our trusty pilot was on hand to fly the teams into various spots in the canyon and give the HQ an over view of the operation. He also graciously flew in the lovely media persons to get some action shots of the troops in action. It's always fun to see yourself on TV.

The day went well. We have taken on a lot of new people not familiar with the canyon, so it was extremely good training for both A and B team members. Field progress was monitored from the air by 'Mr. W' and his 'aid de camp', 'Major Disaster.' The only thing to report was contact with a canyon resident living in a 'Condo' near the third falls. The guy was dressed in a lovely white bed sheet with long black greasy hair and beard, a real canyon space cookie. Obviously he was absolutely no help at all since his head was not on this planet.

On a serious note, after a very thorough search of the area with no clues at all the team commander decided to terminate the search since the possibility existed that she may have walked out and kept on going. So Don gave Everyone an 'E' ticket ride out, and we all retired to the local Pizzeria for refueling. So ended another exiting day for your faithful heroes.

Editor's Note

On behalf of the 'B' team I wish to submit a formal complaint to Major Disaster. In his article he speaks of the HOME JAMES - After a long day of searching, pilot Don Landells gives RMRU a scenic ride out of the canyon and back to base camp at Ann Dolly’s. (photo by Glenn Henderson)'A' team as veteran world class climbers. Interesting thing about this is that malcontent, yours truly aided by Glenn Henderson and Mel Krug, also fellow goof ups, got two world classers, namely Bernie McIlvoy and J. R. Muratet out of a hole (narrow section of waterfalls) that they rappelled into. So in the future the 'A' team better watch out, because the 'B' team is ready and waiting to go!