Brother and sister overdue from hike

November 27, 1987
Deep Canyon, Santa Rosa Mountains

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It was a sunny afternoon. RMRU was called out to search for two overdue hikers. A brother and sister in their mid-twenties had been visiting relatives in Palm Desert for the holidays. They had not been hiking for many years. They decided to drive from Palm Desert up the mountain to Big Horn Sheep lookout and to then hike down Deep Canyon, which is a DEEP canyon that demands some experience from a hiker.

The reporting person was uncertain of what clothing the subjects had with them and described the subjects as other than strongly fit for a task like the one they had knowingly or unknowingly initiated.

Although the days were sunny, nights were cold. A helicopter was called to use in aerial search and to place searchers in the field. A base camp was set up at the Piņon Flats CDF fire station. RMRU members continued to roll into base camp, as a Landells Aviation helicopter arrived. The first team quickly boarded the helicopter and was airborne.

As the helicopter vanished down into Deep Canyon, the voice of the Riverside County Sheriff's deputy assigned to the mission came up on the radio, reporting that he had contact with the subjects. The deputy had been standing by at the trail head. The subjects had started through the previous cold night and turned back, a good decision because of the impassable points that awaited them further down the canyon

The mission started off like clock-work, and was short by good tuck for all, Deep Canyon is beautiful, but only a place for the experienced mountaineer and wildlife such as the sure-footed Big Horn Sheep.