Two Missing Hikers

November 15th, 2004
Mount Baldy

by Patrick McCurdy

Gwenda and I had been snowshoeing Sunday and, when she called at 0745 Monday, I thought she was going to tease me about being sore. Instead, as she was saying "Get going!" the pager went off with a (another) out of county mission supporting West Valley SAR on Mount Baldy.

A couple had hiked to the peak Sunday night and failed to make it back before nightfall. They had been in contact with 911 dispatcher, but did not know where they were. Owing to the numerous missions the previous week, myself and Jim Fairchild were the only RMRU members to respond (Tony Sandrini was en route, but was called off when the subjects were spotted). Jim worked the command post and I was teamed up with two members of San Bernardino Cave Rescue Team (who are also qualified in mountain rescue).

The subjects were spotted about 0900, and a West Valley SAR team was with the subjects within minutes. The team determined they were fine, if cold and hungry. That team had been out for over twenty-four hours, however, and the command post thought they might appreciate some assistance, so we were sent up the same canyon they were coming down. By the time we made it a couple of miles up the canyon the West Valley team and subjects had traversed over to another canyon and been picked up on a road. We hiked out and were given a hearty thanks from the West Valley SAR command post for responding during a period when recent missions have stretched local SAR resources pretty thin.