Missing Female Hiker

October 28, 2013
San Jacinto Mountains - Tramway

Written by - Eric Holder

RMRU was called out for a missing female hiker out of the Palm Springs Tram Station. Three State Park Rangers had gone out the night before but were turned back due to high winds and icy conditions. At 6am on Monday morning I met with Les and Kirk at the lower tram station. Also three members from DSAR (Desert Search and Rescue) were also present. Les spoke with the hiking partners of the missing female and found that she was last seen near Wellman's Divide heading back towards the tram station.

We took a very windy, very slow ride to the upper tram station. After gearing up it was decided that DSAR would head up the main trail and RMRU would take the Sid Davis drainage. Using two people to open the door we were met with very strong winds. We headed up the Sid Davis route to find that it was mostly nonexistent and were heading towards the Shangri-La route when we got the radio message that DSAR had located the subject on the main trail.

We quickly headed over to the main trail and met up with DSAR and subject. Other than being tired she was in good physical and mental condition. She had food, water and a jacket. After speaking with her it turns out she had gotten lost on the way back down in the dark and ended up spending a cold windy night in the Round Valley bathrooms. Once the sun came up she found the correct trail back to the Tramway and met DSAR about a mile from the Tramway.

Subject with Rescuers at Tramway

(L-R) Chris, Subject, Mike, Sharon, Les, Eric, and Kirk
Photo by Lew Kingman

The Subject was well prepared and did a lot of things right, which led this mission to be over quite quickly. We headed back down the tram and met with Lew who was waiting in reserve. Thanks to the Riverside Sheriff's Department for breakfast and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The tram stayed closed the rest of the day due to high winds.

RMRU team members present: Paul Caraher, Kirk Cloyd, Eric Holden, Lew Kingman, Dana Potts, Les Walker and Gwenda Yates.

DSAR team members present: Mike Calhoun, Chris Miller, and Sharon Ollenburger.