Black Mountain Trail Search

September 5, 2010
Black Mountain Trail

Written by Nick Nixon

The callout text message came about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 5. A male and a female along with three dogs were lost in the San Jacinto Mountains. Earlier in the day, about 3:00 p.m, they had started hiking up Black Mountain trail from Highway 243 toward the Black Mountain Lookout Tower. About half way up they left the trail to have lunch at a view point. They failed to get back on the trail and ended up wandering off to the north.

Conditions got worse as they proceeded. The vegetation became very thick and large rock outcroppings blocked routes. Luckily they had a cell-phone and called for help. The cell phone company was able to get a location fix on their phone.

State Park Supervising Ranger Bart Grant also responded to the callout. Bart got on the trail first. RMRU members Randy Yates and Brian Wood hit the trail about twenty minutes after Bart. Nick Nixon stayed at the team vehicle to man the base station. Bart waited for the two RMRU members to catch up with him before going off trail. The off trail area was very thick with vegetation.

Using the mobile coordinates provided by the cell phone company and calling out for the lost hikers, contact was made about 3:00 a.m. It took another two and a half hours to walk the two adults and three dogs out. By 5:30 a.m. all parties were back at the base camp on Highway 243. Everyone out in the field was scratched up, dirty and tired. Otherwise, everyone was fine.

RMRU members present: Nick Nixon, Randy Yates, and Brian Wood

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