Three Lost Hikers

September 04, 2019

Written by Kase Chong

The Tenaja fire start in La Cresta at the Tenaja Rd and Clinton Keith Rd at 16:43. The fire and smoke put debris in the air resulting in a thunderstorm over the San Jacinto mountains. The three subjects, nurses from San Diego County, headed down from San Jacinto peak were forced to find shelter from the sudden subsequent storm. There was a real and dangerous threat of a lightning strike and in the subjectís haste to retreat off the peak, they headed west along Deer Springs instead of east back to the tram where they quickly lost the trail.

The team was activated during their monthly meeting at 19:00. The team quickly made their way to the Palm Springs Tramway and got onto the trail at 21:00. The subjects were located cold and wet but in good spirits around 22:46 south of the Deer Spring switchbacks huddled under a large rock used for shelter. The three had gathered nearby pine needles to use as insulation from the ground and one had wrapped their feet in pine needles and a plastic bag.

The three were hydrated and ready to just hike out. The team hiked the subjects out south to Wellman Divide and back to the tram by 1:40. The team and subjects spent the night at the upper tram station where they awaited the first morning tram to take them home. A deputy was waiting at the lower station where the team handed them over at around 6:30.

Team and Subjects Tramway

Derek, James, Kase, Corey, Glenn in back, and Three Subjects and Cameron front on Tramway
Image by Tramway Operator.

RMRU Members Involved: Kase Chong, Cameron Dickinson, Derek Donovan, James Eckhardt, Corey Ellison, and Glenn Henderson.