My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Use this forum to stay informed on missing persons alerts, active SAR's and unfortunate hiker accidents we can all hopefully learn from. Any information you may have on a missing person, including first hand weather related information or any other insight (however little) may prove to be critical information to Law Enforcement / SAR in locating the person in question.
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Rockyroad
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Re: My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Post by Rockyroad » Wed May 10, 2017 9:55 pm

Sierrapam, thanks for reading my story. I'm glad you were able to work your way to Twin Island Lakes and enjoy the area, despite your tooth pain. Maybe I can complete the trip sometime in the future. Having the SPOT really saved me. Funny thing is, I just got rid of the SPOT and bought an Inreach. I would have had to upgrade to a Gen3 SPOT anyways but I liked the text messaging capabilities of the Inreach.








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Teresa Gergen
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Re: My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Post by Teresa Gergen » Thu May 11, 2017 7:54 am

SPOT also saved my life, and then I also switched to an InReach and am very happy I did.

+1 on always carrying serious prescription painkillers and antibiotics.

Hope your recovery is going well.

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Re: My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Post by Tom_H » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:40 am

I don't know how I missed this thread for a full year, but am so glad to read your account and that you are on the way to recovery. I have never gone solo except for day hikes on well populated trails. Your story illustrates how important it is for those going solo to take extra precautions re. itinerary and emergency communicators. Thanks for sharing the story.

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CAMERONM
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Re: My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Post by CAMERONM » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:34 am

2. Use a satellite communications device that pings your location at regular intervals. If I had stayed unconscious, I would not have been able to signal for rescue.
Thanks for this great post. I am glad that you are doing better.
When going solo I do use the 5-min tracking feature of the SPOT for this reason. A SPOT-3 can go weeks with no battery change, even in 5-minute tracking mode.
A corollary is to discuss with those watching your tracks when to call the authorities, and when not. For a time I was sending an OK message when stopping, but of course the individual messages don't always make it through. I often have one-hour tracking dropouts in some canyons. But combined with an itinerary, the SPOT tracks narrow the search area considerably.

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Re: My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Post by gdurkee » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:47 pm

Like Tom_H, I somehow missed this thread. Amazing story and good recommendations. CHP is great, their service is free though they fly pretty heavy and on a hot day are limited to where they can go at altitude.

I second Cameronm's satellite tracking settings. Five or 10 minute intervals obviously help narrow a search area. I know there's huge resistance to many kinds of tech on a hike but, boy, does active tracking make a search and rescue easier. I would strongly urge anyone hiking solo to carry some sort of satellite gizmo. Mav just posted a solo hiker in Yosemite who's overdue with a storm moving in. Only a rough idea of his route (and there's a reminder to use Mav's form to leave both in your vehicle and with a responsible friend or relative). For a Sat device I'd recommend InReach but SPOT is good too. And Cameronm is right that you want to talk over how long to wait before calling a lack of signal or signal not moving. NPS gets a fair number of calls from worried family not realizing the limits of the tech. When there's no afternoon check-in, say, they call NPS. I think I've posted elsewhere the limits and considerations for satellite signalling gizmos. Anyway, definitely consider getting one.

At the moment, I can think of 5 people in the Sierra over the last few years who haven't been found. All hiking solo, several on day hikes.

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rlown
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Re: My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Post by rlown » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:40 pm

I got an InReach because as I age, the probability goes up on injury. Two sprained ankles and one hairline fracture on the left ankle (didn't know it was broken.) The two-way texting is a bonus. I can also use it for others who might be in distress on the trail. I do not let the family track me. Best left for an independent friend with a level head and knows how I hike.

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Re: My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Post by gdurkee » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:03 pm

Another very good point "others who might be in distress". Don't know what the stats are, but I'd guess about 1/3 of the activations are coming across someone else who needs help. Which leads to one more recommendation. If you do that for someone, you've got to stay on scene. We've tracked SPOTs where they'd only hit the emergency for someone else, then kept going.

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rlown
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Re: My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Post by rlown » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:39 pm

If they're in distress, you stay on scene, put them in a bag and make sure their hydrated. Of course, a compound fracture means you're gonna lose your spare shirt to a wrap.

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overheadx2
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Re: My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Post by overheadx2 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:01 pm

While in Colorado this summer, we came across a lady in significant distress and an apparent broken ankle. She had been there for a several hours and the group didn't have much of a plan or any significant options since they had no beacon, we were about 15 miles from the trail head and she couldn't move. Since it was getting late we gave them our Inreach and they were able to text the severity of the situation and a chopper came in about an hour later. Glad it wasn't me, but good to see how effective it is

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overheadx2
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Re: My SAR below Lake Catherine and Rehab

Post by overheadx2 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:04 pm

By the way, its amazing how light the mood gets and how the distress melts away when you know the cavalry is on the way!

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