Call for Help!

April 11, 2021
Humber Park Area

Written by James Eckhardt.

We were spending the weekend training in Joshua Tree, and Saturday started with a 4:00AM wakeup for a mission in Palm Desert that was quickly called off. After a full day of hot technical rock training, we were starting to go to bed to rest for another day of training when we got our second mission. A woman was heard screaming for help somewhere in Idyllwild or the surrounding wilderness by multiple pairs of climbers on Tahquitz Rock and Idyllwild residents.

When we arrived scene, we were able to interview some of the climbers, who were extremely helpful in describing what they had heard. Based on the information we had, we sent a team (Josh and Tom) to search around Suicide Rock, a team (Becky and Vinay) to hike up Devil’s Slide to Saddle Junction and a team and Tyler and I to search the base of Tahquitz rock. We started hiking just after midnight, and we were greatly aided in our callouts by the stillness of the night.

From Tahquitz, we could clearly hear the team on Suicide Rock, so we were confident our callouts could be heard over much of the valley. Tyler and I searched the base of the climbing routes and snowy runouts from the Northwestern side of Tahquitz to the friction descent route.

None of the teams heard responses to their callouts or found any clues, and due to all teams having been up for at least 24 hours, we stopped searching at 4:00AM.

After a couple hours of sleep, we were joined by the rest of the team that was training at Joshua Tree and resumed our search at 7:00AM. We had more members available, so were able to re-search the base of Tahquitz and the common approach and descent routes, the base of Suicide, Strawberry Creek, and other areas of high probability. With no clues found and with no one reported missing, we suspended the search.

We would like to thank Riverside Sheriff’s Aviation and the Mountain Community Patrol for their help.

RMRU Members Involved: (Thomas Blanke, Coby Brown, Cameron Dickinson, Blake Douglas, James Eckhardt, Corey Ellison, Kaitlyn Ellison, Josh Gould, Eric Holden, Tony Hughes, Beth Jeffery, Robert Newton, Dana Potts, Shani Pynn, Vinay Rao, Tyler Shumway, Becky Templeton, and Ray Weden)