Skier Lost Overnight

January 10, 2016

Written by Pete Carlson

We were having our annual winter shakedown hike and had just spent the night in Tamarack Valley. We were practicing avalanche line probing when we got the radio call at 9am that a day skier had not returned last night from a trip up the Tramway the day before. We started to get organized by having Glenn, Rob, Ray, and Frank head back to the upper Tramway to run base and find out more information. The rest of us started melting snow to refill all the water bottles so everyone would have 2-3 litters of water when we started searching. We all would be carrying 45-55 pound packs with all our winter gear.

It took a good 90 minutes before Glenn and crew got back to the upper Tramway and got all the information. It turned out that Evan had come up Sat morning and gone to San Jacinto Peak to ski back down again. So we sent team 1 to Wellman Divide and then they were to check down the trail to Saddle Junction for any signs of ski tracks headed down into the Wellman drainage. Team 2 was going to San Jacinto Peak and check the North Face and then down towards Little Round Valley. Team 3 was going to Round Valley and then the high trail to Hidden Lake again looking for ski tracks. The State Park was sending a team to Hidden Lake and then down to Willow Creek Crossing looking to tracks. We hoped to find some sign from one of the teams.

As all teams were out on assignment around 2:30pm when we got word that Evan had walked into Snow Creek Village area and a Sheriff Deputy was going to pick him up. We all waited until the Deputy confirmed that it was Evan. All teams then hiked back to the upper Tramway by 4:30pm and went down to have a meal in Palm Springs before heading home. We have since learned that Evan reached the Summit and it was very cloudy and he could not see much. He skied off the North Face by mistake and just kept going until the snow ran out. He then left his skis and continued down on foot. He spent the night under a boulder and in the morning continued down and across the Isthmus passed the water district buildings and down the road to Snow Creek Village.

RMRU Members Involved: Pete Carlson, Cameron Dickinson, Gary Farris, Glenn Henderson, Eric Holden, Tony Hughes, Kevin Kearn, Rob May, Frank Snider, and Ray Weden.

Other Agencies: San Jacinto State Park.