October 01, 2019
Written by Eric Holden
On my way into work we got a callout for a missing marine on the Skyline trail. The subject was attempting to hike Cactus to Clouds to Cactus in one day. This is one of the most difficult trails in the country with over 10,000ft of elevation gain and loss over 30 miles. As there was over 15 miles of trails to check we activated DSSAR and the Sheriff’s Mounted Posse to assist in the search.
I met Glenn, Blake, Cameron, and James at the Keenwild Heliport and it was decided that Blake and James would be airlifted in via Star-9 to Round Valley. From there they would hike up to San Jacinto Peak and see if he was up there or had signed the hut book. Cameron and I were going to be flown into round valley to cut for sign at the top of Sid Davis and the main trail. With our guys flying in, DSSAR was taking the tram up to check Grubb’s Notch for any sign that someone had come up recently, and the Palm Springs Mounted Police was checking down near the start of the trail.
After about 4 hours of searching a call from the family came in with startling news. Apparently, the subject had hiked about 1 mile in then turned around, called an Uber, left his car at the trailhead. He went to the Airport in L.A. an attempt to flee all of life’s responsibilities. There were approximately 20 ground personnel, STAR-9 air support, and the tram running special trips for searchers. Note the Tramway was shut down to the public for maintenance. A lot of resources went into a search for someone that wasn’t even there. We called all teams off and went for a nice lunch/dinner in Idyllwild.
RMRU Members Involved: Cameron Dickinson, Douglas Blake, James Eckhardt, Glenn Henderson, and Eric Holden.
Other Groups Involved: RSO STAR-9, DSSAR, Palm Springs Mounted Police, and Palm Springs Tramway.