Overdue Climbers

June 01, 2015
Tahquitz Rock

Written by Eric Holden

At 7:20am we got the callout, 3 missing climbers that went up Whodunit on Tahquitz rock last night and never came back down. Whodunit is 5.9, 800 foot route that is normally completed in 4-8 pitches. Knowing this was a technical mission I quickly load up my climbing rack, climbing shoes and a couple of ropes just in case. At Humber Park I spoke with the deputy and found out that he had spotted the climbers a few minutes ago topping out on the route. Also that last night one of the climbers had texted his wife saying that they are ok, but sleeping the night on the rock.

Patrick, Kevin and Lew were all in route and Star 9 all showed up within a few minutes of each other. At this point the climbers could be coming down one of two ways so we decided to wait and see if aviation sees anything before heading out. As aviation was searching for them, they ended up walking into Humber Park, tired and a little dehydrated from a night on the rock, but otherwise in great shape. We gave them some water and Kevin gave the climbers a little inspirational pep talk about not being embarrassed and then upset with their spouses for calling/starting a rescue. The climbers expressed extreme gratitude to us and the Riverside Sheriff and head back into town.

Climbers at Base

Climbers at Base
Photo by Eric Holden.

Other than getting a late start the climbers did everything correctly. They climbed till dark and did their best to get a message out to family that they were fine, just coming home tomorrow. At first light they finished the last pitch and hiked back down to the park in quick time.

RMRU Members Involved: Eric Holden, Kevin Kearn, Lew Kingman, and Patrick McCurdy.