Missing Female Hiker
Written by Tony Hughes
The call went out at 10:24 PM on Saturday night to locate a missing 18 year old female hiker. The mother of the solo hiker had dropped her off at the White Water trailhead 3 days earlier and was expecting to meet her daughter at the intersection of Black Mountain Road and the 243 at 4:30 PM earlier that day.
Base was setup at the intersection of Black Mountain Road and the 243. I arrived around 12:30 AM on Sunday, May 10th. Cameron and Ray were already on the scene and Kirk arrived right behind me. Four members of DSSAR as well as several Sheriff Deputies were also on scene. We were briefed by the Deputy. He stated the mother had text back and forth with the daughter confirming a 4:30 PM pickup on Saturday, May 9th at Black Mountain Road and the 243. The mother called 911 a little after 8:00 PM when the daughter had not arrived. Sheriff’s Deputies drove Black Mountain Road with lights and sirens on but were unable to locate any signs of the daughter. The officer did encounter another group that had spoken with the missing hiker near the 4 mile marker of Black Mountain Road at approximately 4 PM. They stated she was in good spirits and not injured. They also let her know she was within a few miles of her destination.
Kirk ran base while Ray, Cameron, and I took my vehicle up Black Mountain Road to clear two side spurs while DSAR went to the top of Black Mountain Road. We cut for track along the way and cleared the first spur quickly. We traveled the second spur several miles to the end and spotted no trace of any recent activity. We headed back to base and refocused our effort on the Pine Woods cabins off Azalea Trail. DSSAR headed in from the side on Black Mountain Road but were quickly stopped by a locked gate. We headed to the side on Dark Canyon. DSSAR reported seeing foot prints in the snow near the gate. We hiked through to the area and saw no signs until we approached the gate near Black Mountain Road. We picked up the trail of prints which lead to an occupied cabin. We found a set of prints for a second person and what appeared to be multiple days of back and forth foot traffic with the matching print. We ruled them out as not belonging to our subject.
We regrouped at Base around 6:00 AM. Ray and I headed home, Cameron and Kirk stayed to wait for the next shift of searchers. The subject exited the wilderness hiked out to a road at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, May 10th and was uninjured. She was spotted by a member of the US Forest Service who escorted her to Base.
RMRU Members Involved: Kirk Cloyd, Cameron Dickinson, Tony Hughes, Patrick McCurdy, and Ray Weden.Tin