Lost Hikers Rescued From Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness Area

George Severson

Lost Hikers Rescued From Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness Area

CREATED Jul. 4, 2012

PALM SPRINGS - A pair of lost hikers were rescued by deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department early Wednesday. Rescuers responded to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Tuesday evening around 8 p.m.regarding a report of two lost hikers in the Mount San Jacinto Wilderness area. Both hikers had wandered from the marked trail, where they became significantly lost and in distress.

The couple, one man and one woman, had departed the upper Tram Station on Tuesday about 2:15 PM, for a day hike to Long Valley, according to a spokesperson with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. After hiking for several hours, the pair became lost in an area known as "Saddle Junction." Being unprepared for nightfall, and lacking basic survival supplies and provisions, the hikers were able to call 911 by cellular phone and summon help.

The Sheriff's Department Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU) responded and began a search of the wilderness area. Around 12:30 AM, the rescue team located both hikers several miles from the upper Tram Station. Due to the hikers location, the rescuers decided to escort both to Humber Park in Idyllwild, where the pair was later returned to their Hotel in Palm Springs. Both hikers were uninjured and in good spirits.

The two hikers were identified as 36-year-old Christopher Wimmer and 29-year-old Victoria Oliver, both of San Francisco, California.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says hikers need to take into consideration their experience level, knowledge of the terrain, weather, and personal physical limitations.

Remember to bring enough water, fully charged communication devices, such as cellular or satellite telephones, and wear appropriate clothing. Always let friends and relatives know where you intend on hiking, and when you plan to return.