Hypothermia Devils Slide

March 14, 2020
Devils Slide Trail, Humber Park

Written by Shani Pynn

At roughly 3 PM myself and my teammates were turning around our hike up Devil’s Slide trail. We were out on an overnight medical training and had just decided to change the location so we would be able to participate in an extended search in the morning. As we were about to start our hike back down the trail we were stopped by some hikers. They asked if we were on the search and rescue team and if we could help a hiker, they had found who was very cold.

RMRU members with Subject in Black
Image by Shani Pynn

Our subject, who the hikers had been helping down the trail, was very quiet and his clothes were quite wet. After a quick assessment my teammates determined he was suffering from hypothermia and we needed to get him warmed up quickly and down to more medical care as he could have other cold injuries. We gave him some warm dry clothing, a quick snack for fuel, and got him back to walking down the trail so he could generate some body heat. As we hiked back with him his condition improved greatly and he became more talkative.

Eric putting Hat on Subject
Image by Shani Pynn

We learned he had been lost in the snow for a couple of days after post holing and losing one of his shoes. He had run across some people snowshoeing this morning who told him he could follow their tracks back to the trail. Following their tracks had led him to the hiking pair who had checked on him, lent him what dry clothing they had, and brought him down to us.

Tyler handing Blue Jacket to Subject in Front of Eric
Image by Shani Pynn

With more snacks and walking he continued to improve, and we were back at the trailhead by about 4 PM. Paramedics from Cal-Fire and AMR were waiting for us and were able to check him over for any other cold injuries. Remarkably, he had no other apparent injuries. He had a very lucky day.

RMRU Members Involved: James Eckhardt, Josh Gould, Eric Holden, Tony Hughes, Shani Pynn, and Tyler Shumway.