Lost Hiker San Jacinto Peak

September 21, 2014
San Jacinto Mountains

Written by Dana Potts

In the evening around 8:30 pm RMRU was called to the Palm Springs Tram to search for an overdue hiker. RMRU team members Kirk, Dana, and Cameron arrived prior to the shutting down of the tramway. The team was advised by the Riverside County Sheriff’s department that a lone male hiker was reported to have made it to the summit of Mount San Jacinto in the afternoon, called home to check in and was on his way back to the tramway. We were told that the hiker had plenty of water but no light.

Two Rangers checked the main trail through Round Valley all the way to the summit while RMRU members Dana and Cameron went to Hidden Lake Divide and took the High Trail to Round Valley with negative contact. The evening was perfect for a night search: warm, no winds, and our voices carried. Come morning other RMRU Members and Desert Search and Rescue members Sharon Ollenburger and Michael Calhoun responded to the top of the tram. Sharon and Michael headed down the dreaded cement pathway and they came across our missing hiker being towed up the ramp by the Rangers.

Upon asking him what happened, he told us that he had twisted his ankle the day before and followed what he thought was the main trail. However as has happened many times before, with the loss of light, he lost the trail and followed footprints that lead him away from the main trail. Due to the fact that he didn’t have a light, he made the right choice to stay put until sunrise. He said that he felt that he was in the Round Valley area but not sure where. Once the sun was up, he made his way back to the tram.

The subject was reunited with his wife at the lower tram station and sough his own medical attention later that day for his minor sprain.

RMRU Members Involved: Steve Bryant, Kirk Cloyd, Cameron Dickinson, Glenn Henderson, Kevin Kearn, and Dana Potts.