Hiker Lost

August 27, 2020
Dripping Springs, Cleveland National Forest

Written by Tyler Shumway.

I got a call from Gwenda Thursday night at 9:00 pm to do a hoist for a lost hiker out of Dripping Springs. I made it over to Hemet Ryan by 9:15 pm and geared up. Vinay arrived shortly after to provide backup.

Pilot Manny Romero and Technical Flight Officer Jerry Osterloh gave a quick brief that we had a 17-year-old male hiker who was off trail and out of water. No injuries were reported.

Tyler getting ready to go on Hoist.
Image by Vinay.

We flew to the subject’s location which was a rocky outcropping surrounded by chaparral. Aviation was able to lower me down and I contacted the subject without incident. I performed a quick assessment and provided a bottle of Gatorade. I then outfitted the subject with helmet and harness and briefed him on the hoist. Aviation extracted both the subject and I and landed near Vail Lake to an awaiting Deputy who would take the subject from there. Mission was over by 10:30 pm.

Subjects Plan:

The hiker was attempting the Agua Tibia Loop which is a 20-mile trail that starts out of Dripping Springs Campground. He began his hike at 3:00 pm with 4L of water and plenty of food. Temperatures were over 100 degrees that day. He was making his way down the Wild Horse Trail when he lost the trail and started bushwhacking. He then ran out of water by nightfall and did not have a headlamp. He was unable to locate the trail and called 911.

RMRU Members Involved: Vinay Rao and Tyler Shumway.