Two Cold Hikers and Dog
December 7, 2019
Devils Slide Trail, Humber Park
Written by Josh Gould
On the morning of December 7, 2019, we got a call out for two hikers that are struggling to get off the mountain. We reported to the ranger station to set up base camp and wait for everyone to arrive. I was first on scene. Followed by Glen, Vinay, Cameron, and Tyler. We established two teams. Tyler and I would be team one and move fast, and Cameron and Vinay would be following behind. Glen set up basecamp at the ranger station, assigned tasks and sent the rest of the rescuers up to Humber Park to gear up and move out. Blake arrived before team 2 left, so he joined them.
As Tyler and I headed up the mountain, we asked the hikers we encountered to find out any information about our subject. We found out that they were in a tent right on the trail. We would thank each group and continue pushing forward. We also found out through the sheriffs that there was a dog with our subjects, too.
After about an hour and two and a half miles of hiking, we come up on the tent. The subjects were inside trying to stay warm. All their gear was wet from the rain and snow. The dog was shivering and didn’t want to move. Tyler and I gave them some jackets, gloves, socks, and a sleeping bag to try warming up before we headed back down the mountain. While they were warming up, Vinay arrived. We had reports of a possible third subject, so Vinay and Tyler both went up to Saddle Junction to look and see if there was anything. We started to prepare for getting the dog off the mountain in case he couldn’t move on his own. James, Corey, and Kaitlyn started to bring up the litter and wheel.
The subjects and dog started to warm up and decided it was time to get off the mountain. Tyler and I agreed it would be best if I escorted one of the subjects and the dog down the hill while he stayed back with Vinay and the other subject and packed up their gear. Our goal was to keep the dog moving to stay warm. On the way down, Cameron and Blake joined us to head back down. We were moving at a good pace. Ended up running into James, Corey and Kaitlyn. We decided it’d be best that we don’t put the dog in the litter at that time. Tyler, Vinay and the second subject made their way down shortly after. We regrouped at the base.
Upon the hike down, we found out that the subjects have been out on the mountain for three days. They packed plenty of food, water and gear for multiple days. They got a little lost when their GPS systems stopped working because of the loss of service. They headed to the wrong peak. In doing so they turned back and camped for the night. In the morning, continued to head back to saddle junction. It was getting late and started to hail on them. This caused them to set up camp for the second night. The camped out on the trail of Devils Slide. They were wet, cold and worried about their dog. They waited for the ranger station to open the next morning to call for help.
In all, this was a great mission. Thank you to the San Jacinto Ranger Station, Riverside Sheriffs’ office and the entire team of Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit.
RMRU Members Involved: Cameron Dickinson, Blake Douglas, James Eckhardt, Corey Ellison, Josh Gould, Glenn Henderson, Kaitlyn Purington, Tyler Shumway, and Vinay Rao.