Two Hikers Rescued Sunday Evening

Two Hikers Rescued Sunday Evening title=
Two Hikers Rescued Sunday Evening
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Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

Two 20 year old, female hikers from San Luis Obispo started for Zaca Ridge Sunday afternoon around 1 pm using the All Trails app. Descending from the Grass Mountain area, they lost the trail and started heading in a westerly direction, eventually losing their way. As it turned dark, a storm with rain and high winds moved in. The young women found a sheltered spot and called 911 for help.

Just after 8:30 pm. just as the Blood Wolf Moon was fully eclipsed, Dispatch paged Santa Barbara Search & Rescue. Dispatch provided initial coordinates which put the hiker’s location west of Grass Mountain up towards Zaca Ridge.

Twelve members of the Sheriff’s SAR team responded. One team started up the trail to Grass Mountain and two teams accessed Zaca Ridge and began working their way west. Travel was slow due to the steep terrain, over grown trail, high winds, blowing rain and clouds. When the one team reached the top of Grass Mountain, they reported snow.

Dispatch provided updated coordinates that allowed the Zaca Ridge teams to get closer.
Eventually the teams worked their way down a steep hillside, using ropes for hand lines and located the hikers around 2 am in the morning. They were provided with dry and waterproof clothing and their condition evaluated. The decision was made to hike the women out to the team vehicles on the Zaca Ridge Road.

Upon returning to Figueroa Mountain Road, the hikers were evaluated by medics. Both said they were fine, just cold and tired. Search & Rescue transported the hikers back to their vehicle around 6:45 am.

The operation took our Search and Rescue team about 12 hours of time and included more than four miles of cross country hiking. We owe this VOLUNTEER team a tremendous debt of gratitude for the work they do.

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a-1566425927 Jan 23, 2019 07:42 PM
Two Hikers Rescued Sunday Evening

Huh. In my reading I thought luvaduck was pretty darn critical overall. If survival instincts are carrying a phone, good luck to us all....

a-1566425927 Jan 23, 2019 09:36 AM
Two Hikers Rescued Sunday Evening

BUG GIRL is right. Just having a cellphone is not preparation enough. And relying on an app to get around in unfamiliar territory is equally questionable... I guess they've never been in a situation before where their (in phone) GPS places them miles from their actual location or gives them faulty instructions.

Bug Girl Jan 23, 2019 07:18 AM
Two Hikers Rescued Sunday Evening

Yes and No. Having a phone and seeking shelter (and staying put once they realized they were lost) were good things, sure. But embarking on an unfamiliar hiking trail in the winter, when there is limited daylight hours, beginning their hike in the afternoon rather than the morning, and relying on an app (rather than a map) are all things that they could have done differently which would likely have changed how their night went. They should have checked the weather forecast and brought warm clothing with them, and they wouldn't have been caught unaware.

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