The strangest part about that lost hiker episode

General Palm Springs area.

Postby Ramblindave » Sat May 13, 2006 10:58 am

OK I get it, I thought I Was doing something to cause that. Was thinkin what the #@$%@%^. Am aware of the situation in that area, didnt even think of that. I wont post the map

Thanks
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Postby dhstein313 » Sat May 13, 2006 10:13 pm

Hypothermia can do really weird things to you, never hiked in snow, known for getting lost and also known for going TOOO ultralight are the reasons I can come up with.
It baffles/troubles me greatly ....... I am involved with SAR in San Bernardino County, actually ate BF with him the two days prior to him being last seen, camped and started hiking Fuller Ridge the evening he was last seen, and been very involved with the PCT community and their search and mourning of losing one of their own.

Duane
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Lesson Learned

Postby dhstein313 » Sat May 13, 2006 10:17 pm

Lessons to be learned ---

WHEN TRAVELING IN SNOW TRAVEL WITH SOMEONE!

KNOW HOW TO READ A MAP AND COMPASS!

GOING DOWN HILL and TOWARDS LIGHTS is not ALWAYS the BEST OPTION.

HYPOTHERMIA CAN HIT REALLY QUICK which IMPAIRS JUDGEMENT.

KNOW YOUR ABILITIES AND LIMITS and ONLY PUSH THEM IN A SAFE ENVIROMENT and ALWAY IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS.

THE PCT GUIDEBOOK MAPS are INADEQUATE when NOT HIKING ON GOOD TREAD.

ULTRA- LIGHT BPing can only be used safely with a vast amount of survival skills, great judgement, and lots of luck.
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Donovan

Postby A.Riedel » Mon May 15, 2006 8:42 pm

Did they find anything during the search?

Does anyone have any update on the Saturday expedition? I thought about going out there, but didn't know who to contact.
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Postby Guest » Tue May 16, 2006 5:12 am

According to the rescue team's website (sorry, don't have it handy), the search for Donovan's remains was called off by the sherriff's department. They didn't say why, but they say they hope to be out again "soon."
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Postby BSquared » Tue May 16, 2006 7:30 am

Here's the website for Riverside Mountain Search and Rescue http://www.rmru.org/
...and here's what they say:
5/14/2006: This last Saturday's search for John Donovan was called off by the Riverside County Sheriff's Office. It is to be rescheduled for another date, hopefully soon.
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lost and found

Postby bday » Thu May 18, 2006 3:52 pm

Hello Hikers of SJ Mt. I'm one of the two people that were rescued off the mountain last week. Let me first thank SAR and local the local sheriff coordinating the search....they were incredible and I owe them my life. I know most of you are wondering why an experienced hiker like John Donovan did what he did. I wish I had the answer for you. No, I haven't disclosed everything I read on those maps and random pieces of paper, nor will I. I think thats best left to John and his family. I do feel it necessary to thank him for helping my girlfriend and I. A debt of gratitude to him and his family. I sincerely hope he is found and that our findings will help give some closure to his family and friends.
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corrections

Postby bday » Thu May 18, 2006 4:08 pm

By the way, NO, there was no food ever found in the pack. I don't know where some news reports got that. NO, we have no mountain hiking experience or training of any kind. NO, my girlfriend and I were not there for a day hike. We would of been far more prepared. We intended to walk the main trail by the tram for a half hour in search of fresh air and few good pictures....then head back to the tram to enjoy a couple drinks.
I'm well aware of what some people are saying. No it wasn't a brilliant moment in my life. However, I feel good that in light of some bad decisions we made it out alive.

Safe and happy trails to each of you.
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Postby AlanK » Thu May 18, 2006 4:38 pm

bday -- Your posts were most interesting. I learned more about this episode from them than from everything I'd seen before.

I have been in the area of the tram station many times. I think it would be rather difficult for an experienced hiker, taking any care at all, to get lost for long in that local area. However, getting lost is not terribly difficult in general, and it is not at all surprising that someone without the requisite experience could get into trouble rapidly. I'm glad you and your girlfriend got out ok. And, as others have commented, it sure would have been nice if some of the folks behind your tour had been more diligent in reporting you missing.

Happy trails to you too!
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Postby BSquared » Thu May 18, 2006 6:51 pm

Thanks very much for posting, Bday! Having got lost many times myself -- but through dumb luck without getting into the kind of trouble you did -- I understand, and I think your survival instincts were remarkable. Good work!

I do hope *someone*, presumably Donovan's family (though as I recall there isn't much "family") do eventually disclose all of his notes. It could be extremely useful to others who have hiked or will hike in the same area. For example, recently there was a great deal of anxiety about an experienced hiker and mountain climber who was "lost" on Mt. Whitney. Only after his body was found many weeks later did it become clear that he had in fact been recently diagnosed with some kind of terminal illness and had gone up into the Whitney area to die, with the assistance of some drugs. Not a happy story, but I think the truth is always preferable to the rumors that inevitably fly in such cases. The bottom line is that John helped you in your trouble, and by knowing more about what happened to him, other hikers could be helped as well.

Thanks again for finding this forum and posting in it.
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