Family Spends Cold Evening in Outhouse

March 29, 2002
Palm Spring Upper Tram

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By Gene Baune

RMRU was contacted the evening of 29 March 2002 to search for a missing family that had been reported overdue by relatives. The family, father, son 12 and daughter 8 had intended to do a day hike from the tram and lost the trail. They were reported missing by relatives who had done a shorter hike in the area. The Riverside Sheriff's Department contacted RMRU and the team was dispatched just after 10 PM.

Other hikers had reported hearing someone calling for help in the vicinity of the Tamarack Valley campground but dismissed it as a prank. The first team dispatched headed up the Sid Davis drainage towards Tamarack Valley. While approaching the campground Team 1 made voice contact with the family and quickly made their way to where the very cold and worried family was waiting. The team provided the family with warm clothing, food, and water and escorted them to the trailhead where they were met by additional team members who provided crampons for the icy trails, additional warm clothing, and food. The family was then escorted back to the tram station and reunited with their relatives.

This group had gone out on a warm day with only shorts, tee shirts, and tennis shoes. This incident shows how quickly conditions can change in the mountains and all hikers should carry the "ten essentials" in case it becomes necessary to spend the night in the woods.

The following members responded and participated in this search:

Team 1: Travis Henderson, Gene Baune, Dana Potts
Team 2: Lee Arnson, Ralph Hoetcher
Team 3: Debiy Reigle, Glen Henderson, Rich Macheck,

Operations: Jim Fairchild