Severely Dehydrated Backpacker

June 5th, 2004
Pacific Crest Trail above Snow Creek Drainage

by Patrick McCurdy

The page went out about 0300 for a severely dehydrated Marine on the Pacific Crest Trail, above Snow Creek. I was the second person on scene, arriving just after Jim Bakos. It was a warm, windy, incredibly clear morning in the desert, and Jim and I stared up at the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains waiting for the rest of the team to arrive. As we gazed at the mountains, Jim spotted a cone of light circling high above, searching the mountain, and correctly identified it as the Sheriff's helicopter.

The helicopter landed nearby as the rest of the team arrived, and the crew conferred with us about possible locations for the sick Marine. It took off again and fairly quickly located the subject, lifted him out, and flew him to the hospital in Palm Springs, while his buddies hiked down the trail to their car. They came driving down the canyon as we were packing up to leave and were rather grumpy at Jim's suggesting that they pose for a photo for our newsletter.

Lesson learned: Don't tease tired, grumpy Marines about needing to be rescued!