MOUNTAIN SAFETY, June 2018, Day Hiker Lost in Desolation

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 18 June 2018


Day Hiker Lost in Desolation

Lost hiker rescued in Desolation Wilderness shows importance of being prepared,
Sierra Sun, June 14, 2018.


The Problem
"Erin Perkins, 37, was hiking the Rocky Canyon Trail on Monday, June 4 when she lost track of the trail and could not find her way back."

The Bad News
“I had been listening to music on my phone and when I realized I wasn’t on the trail anymore, I took my phone out but it died right then."

The Good News
"She brought with her extra layers, a mylar blanket, extra food and water and stayed put while the sun went down. El Dorado County Search and Rescue was notified at 8 p.m., and the search for Perkins began. The ground recovery unit went out first and by the next morning, El Dorado County Sheriff and CHP were notified and brought in to assist. Luckily, by 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Perkins was found and returned to safety."

The Bottom Line

The level of expectations demonstrated by the lack of observation and attention of this hiker shows us a couple of the mental states you never want to be in while hiking the wilderness. One, you don't want to be detached from observations as you hike. Second, you don't want to be dependent on electronics for you fundamental position and safety. Both of these should be a function of your skills, fitness, and knowledge

Never expect the trail to continue without your proper attention...

Not paying attention to your environment is a problem anywhere, but especially dangerous in the wilderness. Erin was hella lucky she’s smart enough to compensate for her lack of attentiveness with a good “safety pack.”
Every High Sierra dayhiker should be more attentive than less, and carry enough gear to get by when thing go wrong.



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mountain safety, June 2018, day, hiker, lost, rescued, Desolation Wilderness


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