Two Hikers Near Wellman Cienega

November 27, 2015
San Jacinto State Park Wilderness

Written by Raymond Weden

Around 8pm RMRU was activated for a pair of lost hikers reported to be near Wellman Cienega. The initial information we received was that one of the hikers had a hurt ankle. Glenn, Cameron and I arrived at the Deer Springs trail head within a few minutes of each other. With Glenn running base operations, Cameron and I started up the Deer Springs trail with the litter and wheel anticipating our injured hiker needing the ride out.

It was easily in the 20’s and an early season storm had just passed through the area. As Cam and I starting climbing up in elevation the snow starting getting thicker on the trail and the air temperature may have been in the upper teens. At this point, a hurt ankle was beginning to turn into a secondary concern as hypothermia was a likely possibility if help didn’t arrive soon.

We decided to ditch the litter on the side of the trail as it was slowing us down so we could get to their last known point quicker. We got word that California State Park Rangers were also assisting on this rescue. They were coming from the Long Valley Ranger Station over Wellman Divide. RMRU Members Eric, Judy, and Dana were staged at Humber Park ready for a possible hoist rescue. Sheriff's Aviation was off duty for the evening however a crew came in on their day off to be ready to assist us.

Shortly before 3am on now the next day, the Park Rangers made contact with our missing hikers. After giving our missing hikers some warmer clothes, it turned out not to be a sprained ankle and the Rangers hiked them out towards Saddle Junction down to Humber Park to our awaiting team members.

RMRU Members Involved: Cameron Dickinson, Glenn Henderson, Eric Holden, Dana Potts, Judy Spowart, and Raymond Weden.

Riverside Sheriff’s Office: Sheriff’s Aviation.

Other Agencies: San Jacinto State Park Rangers.