Heat Problem Whitewater
Written by Matt Jordon
On Monday, June 8 at around 4:45pm a call out was initiated to respond to the Whitewater Preserve to search for a missing couple. The couple turned out to be strangers who met on Meetup.com and then decided to hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail toward Mission Creek. Unfortunately, this day turned out to be the hottest of the year with temperatures over 112 degrees and for those who have hiked this section - it's a long and exposed dry one. The fellow who organized the "Meetup" was in his 50's and so was the lady accompanying him, but nevertheless, when this trip organizer finally petered out and could go no further, the female wisely turned back and requested help from Jack at the preserve who in turn also assisted the responding BLM and Sheriff. Early in the search and with a stroke of good fortune, one keen BLM ranger was allowed access into the Mission Creek Preserve where he hiked upstream and located the man who was in dire straits. The faithful Star 9 from Riverside County Sheriff Department then picked the male up and delivered him to Whitewater Preserve where he was then transported via ambulance.
The takeaway here is: No matter how few participants one has planned for these "Meetup-type groups" - or no matter how long the event has been planned -- always use good judgement and do not hike in extremely hot weather (especially in mid-day). It's just not worth getting heat stroke or worse - and the ladies are rarely impressed when they are the ones having to rescue you. It's very fortunate that both hikers made it out alive that day and it could have ended much worse if the sun went down before getting rescued.
RMRU Members Involved: Cameron Dickinson, Matt Jordon, and Patrick McCurdy.Tin