Bautista Canyon Mountain Biker

July 21, 2017
Bautista Canyon, Southeast Hemet

Written by Cameron Dickinson

In the afternoon I received a call from our Call Captain Gwenda Yates to see if I was available to perform a hoist of a male mountain biker that needed some assistance. I was available and within a couple minutes I would be on the road driving over to Sheriff's Aviation hanger.

Prior to my arrival, Sheriff's Aviation had received information from the dispatcher regarding the subjectís location and decided to do a flyover to assess the situation. When I arrived at the hanger I was informed by the pilot and technical flight officer that mountain biker was stuck in thick brush with his mountain bike on a steep hillside not too far from Sage Road. I grabbed my pack that that included basic technical gear and medical supplies out of my vehicle, and off we went.

Once we were overhead from our subject's location, I can see that he was approximately 1 mile from location not far from the awaiting Deputy, below at the base of the hillside. I was lowered down to find our subject in good health, but with multiple scratches on his legs which he received while working his way down the hillside. He expressed that he didn't want to leave his bike behind. Since we weren't too far from the road, I decided to walk him out with his mountain bike. I radioed back to Aviation that I was going to walk the subject out and would get a ride back to the hanger from the Deputy at the road head.

From my original vantage point, I could see weren't far from the road, but there was lots of thick brush, trees, plenty of poison oak, and two dry creek washes which will be necessary to across with one being particularly steep. I can see this was going to be tough! Since our subject was exhausted from his adventure, I decided it would be a safer for me to grab his bike, so he can focus on traversing the steeper hillside down into the wash. The wash provided a cleaner route with less vegetation. As worked our way down the wash, we came to a point we couldn't go down any further because a 25ft water fall that we encountered. This would require us to scramble up a steeper rocky hillside 20ft up and would traverse the hillside from there away from the creek wash towards the direction of the road. At this point I would provide the subject with a climbing harness and tie him into a rope, I would scramble up to the top and provide a top belay for our subject, so I could get him over this steep section safety, followed by his bike. From there it was a matter was getting our subject through the remaining thicket back to the road. The brush was so tall and dense that it made pulling his bike through verify difficult. We were starting to lose daylight, and at this point it was decided to leave bike behind and he would come back another day to get it.

RMRU Members Involved: Cameron Dickinson.