Two Stranded Climbers.

June 09, 2002
Tahquitz Rock

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By Glenn Henderson

The team was paged out at midnight, June 9, 2002. Dispatch told us that there were two climbers, a male and a female, stuck on a rock. Of course that meant, Tahquitz Rock. When we arrived we were informed that the climbers were all right and would climb out at sun up. The Sheriff was going to cancel the mission, but we hiked up to the base of the rock to talk directly to the climbers.

When we got there they said they were fine. We still didn't feel good about leaving them there so we hiked up to the top of Tahquitz. When we arrived we had minimal gear. We used a 100 ft rope to get to the edge and shouted down to the climbers. They were elated to see us. We asked again, still want to climb up on your own at sun up? "NO" was the reply. She told us her partner was shivering uncontrollably and they were both hypoglycemic. We got more rope out and lowered Debbiy down to the subjects. When she got to the subjects they were about 600 ft up the rock huddled together and anchored to a hanging belay. Debbiy gave them some warmer clothes and food. After eating the subjects felt much better and wanted to climb up with our help. Here we had to improvise. We had two 200 ft ropes, not enough to do a raise, so Debbiy climbed up 75 ft to a good belay position and belayed each climber up to her. Team members on top then belayed them up. When Debbiy was belayed up around 7:00am Monday morning, the team packed up for the hike back to Humber Park. The group finally arrived at Humber around 8:00am. Some members went to breakfast in Idyllwild while Debbiy got to go directly to her fifth grade class for end of school activities.

Members on the rock were Debbiy Riegle, Rick Maschek, Max Brummett and Rick Floquet. Other late arrivals were Glenn Henderson, Dana Potts and Rob May.