Two Peak Hikers Separared From Group

August 18th, 2004
Marion Mountain Trail

by Will Carlson

The weather had finally changed. I sat around the house all day catching up on my college work. Earlier, I had thought to myself what a great day it would be for hiking. It was just before 2300 when I heard the pager. I had a feeling this mission was going to be a good one. I called the rescue line and a few minutes later my dad (Pete Carlson) and I were headed to the Marion Mountain Trail. We were told that two hikers were lost up near the summit of San Jacinto Peak.

We arrived around 0100 to find team members Lee Arnson, Max Brummett, and Terry Greenstein. Lee had already gathered the subject information, and with only five members we knew we needed to get going. We quickly devised a plan and got to it. Lee and I would be team 1 and head up the Seven Pines trail, while Pete and Max as team 2 would head up the Marion Mountain Trail. Terry would remain at the trailhead and run our base operations. Patrick McCurdy also joined up with team 1.

After completing our initial assignments, we all met at the junction of Deer Springs Trail and Fuller Ridge Trail and settled in for a few hours of sleep. By 0600 we were up and moving again. Team 1 headed up through Little Round Valley to the summit (note: the summit was also the point last seen). Team 2 decided to follow the Fuller Ridge Trail down to the Folly Ridge and then head for the summit.

By this time we had other teams arriving from out of county. We were sending teams up various trails and covering the previously covered trails in case the subjects were sleeping when the first teams moved through. Team 2 was positioned on the windy summit to act as a radio relay as team 1 headed down the other side to Laws camp. We were really worried about the subject's condition due to the fact of how cold it was the night before and the tremendous winds.

Team members Debby Riegle, Jeff Sutch, Bill Delo, Ray Hussey, Steve Bryant, and Lew Kingman also arrived. Debby headed down to Caramba with Clay and Jeremy, two members of Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, Bill and Jeff headed up to the Strawberry Cienaga Junction. While all of this searching was going on, Law and Ray were preparing to head up to Little Round Valley, and later the summit.

By the middle of the afternoon we were stumped as to where these two hikers could be, yet we were confident that we would find them. Not too long after we were pondering their whereabouts we heard on the radio that the helicopter had spotted them. The missing hikers were located below Fuller Ridge Trail and appeared to be in good condition. Sierra Madre team 1 made their way to the subjects, along with RMRU team 2, and together they hiked them out. Everyone was back to their cars by 1800.

RMRU Members Present: Lee Arnson, Max Brummett, Terry Greenstein, Pete Carlson, Will Carlson, Patrick McCurdy, Jeff Sutch, Debbiy Riegle, Steve Bryant, Lew Kingman, Ray Hussey, Bill Delo. Special Thanks to: Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, Rim of the World Search and Rescue, San Gorgonio Search and Rescue, and San Dimas Mountain Rescue.