Diabetic without medication exhausted on trail

September 25, 1999
Skyline Trail, San Jacinto Mountain
UTM 11S 0534749 3741265, NAD27 CONUS

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At 4:00am, September 24th, two men started up the Skyline trail from Palm Springs. One hiker was diabetic and was due for his next dose of medication at about 5:00pm. At about 7:00pm they were still over 2 miles from the end of the trail and, unfortunately, they did not bring the needed medication with them. The exhausted diabetic could no longer continue and decided to stay where he was. His friend hurried to the top of the trail and called for help from the payphone outside the Palm Springs Arial Tram.

RMRU was notified at about 1:30am and was soon at the lower tram station. State Park personnel accompanied us to the upper tram station. A hasty team consisting of two State Park Rangers quickly made their way down to the subject for an initial medical assessment. The subject was stable but unable to move very far before becoming completely exhausted. It was decided that he would be taken to Desert Hospital by helicopter at first light.

A team from RMRU was sent down to assist with moving the subject to a suitable landing zone for the helicopter. Star 80, a Riverside Sheriff's helicopter, arrived at our location at about 6:00am and flew the subject to Desert Hospital. Star 80 then returned to fly the remaining rescue personnel to the lower tram station.