Rescue on Cowles Mountain

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Rescue on Cowles Mountain

Postby Wildhorse » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:50 pm

This afternoon around 5PM, about a mile up the service road at Cowles Mountain, a woman was lying on the road surrounded by paramedics, had an IV inserted, and was later lifted off the mountain by helicopter. The first rumor I heard from other hikers was that she had a broken ankle. Then I heard that her hip was broken too. Three hose carrying fire trucks were parked at the trailhead, plus two other pick-up type fire and rescue vehicles. A third rescue vehicle drove up the service road to where the woman was lying on the the service road surrounded by paramedics. A helicopter circled for an hour, lowering down supplies and one of the paramedics, and then lifted the woman and a paramedic into the air and into the helicopter. On the ground the helicopter blades created large dust storms that looked like smoke to observers on top of the mountain and down below. Rumors of fire circulated among those not close enough to see the woman lying in the road.

So far, I can find nothing in the news, and no reporters appear to have been on the scene.

Where the woman fell, if she fell as rumors tell it,is where the service road is the most steep (about a 20% grade) and covered with slippery sand and pebbles. I have slipped there too, at least several times, even though I have not fallen. The service road leads to radio towers at the mountain top (which must account for the name "service road.")

Cowles Mountain is a great place to hike daily in San Diego. Several trails lead to the summit, as well as the service road. One can hike three to maybe six or seven miles, and gain about 1000 to 2300 feet depending on the starting point and whether one goes on to Pyles Peak. Many people are injured there each year. A few people die, and about 50 dogs die (from dehydration and heat exhaustion.)

No narrative I know of captures what happens at Cowles. People hike there who are fit, even very strong athletes, and others hike there who are quite unfit. That so many dogs die there makes we worry about dogs living with people. For some of us, Cowles is part of the ritual of our lives - something we can't live without now. For others, I don't know. I see many faces only once. I did not recognize the woman on the ground, nor her companion.
Wildhorse
 
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Re: Rescue on Cowles Mountain

Postby Ed » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:11 am

Wildhorse wrote:Where the woman fell, if she fell as rumors tell it,is where the service road is the most steep (about a 20% grade) and covered with slippery sand and pebbles. I have slipped there too, at least several times, even though I have not fallen.


I used to hike down the service road regularly, after taking the trail up. Slowly and carefully, on the steep and slippery sections. With quite a few people gliding past me at much higher speeds. I admired their sure-footed confidence, but did not try to duplicate it.
Ed
 
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Location: San Diego Area


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