Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

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Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker
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Source: Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue

Trail Rescue 11/14/21 - Shortly before 6pm last night, Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue responded for a report of an overdue hiker on Cold Spring trail, teams were sent to check the trailheads for the hiker’s vehicle. Teams were unable to locate the vehicle and through investigation it was determined that the hiker had returned home. While this first calling was being sorted out, around 6:15pm SBCSAR received an additional and separate call of a hiker in distress on the Cathedral Peak trail.

SBCSAR quickly diverted teams already in the field to respond to the Tunnel trailhead to begin a search for the hiker. SAR teams were joined by SB Co. Fire Engine 15 and coordinated a plan to hike up, locate and provide assistance to the hiker. While en route to the trail, teams learned that a family member of the hiker was also on the trail trying to reach the distressed hiker, the family member was contacted by teams in the creek at the trail junction for Inspiration Point and Cathedral Peak trails and encouraged to return to the operation staging area.

Teams made their way up the trail and a SBCSAR UAV with a thermal imaging FLIR camera was launched to search the trail system from above to help locate the hiker. As this was occurring, teams in the creek made voice contact with the subject in the Upper Seven Falls area, the UAV confirmed the location of the hiker and a SAR ground team from above the falls made contact with the subject. Ground teams evaluated the hiker for any injuries, provided water, food, headlamp, offered warm clothing and developed and exit plan to get the hiker out to the trailhead. The hiker was brought out and evaluated by AMR and released and taken to his vehicle.

SBCSAR would like to remind those hiking that some of our trails can be difficult to navigate and our mountainous terrain deceiving in regards to hiking ability. Please also take a fully charged phone or way to charge if needed as hiking apps wear down the battery quickly, extra water, food, clothing and lighting as you might be out longer than anticipated as was the case last night.

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Byzantium Nov 18, 2021 09:31 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

Trailhead signage: Before embarking on this trail you need to carry evacuation insurance, or you will be charged for any rescue efforts required on your behalf, Hike responsibly: always carry adequate water, keep pets leashed, carry topo maps, cold weather gear, sufficient food, emergency lighting, know your limits, be qualified in first aid, and honor all emergency precautions appropriate for this trail under all seasonal variations. Notify others of your expected return time. Sign in and sign out on the posted roster. Enjoy your time in nature, will all due precautions. If you pack it in, pack it out. Have a good day

Eggs Ackley Nov 18, 2021 08:16 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

Stuck above seven falls at night sounds frightening. So easy to miss the trail and the climb through the chasm is demanding even in daylight.
Thanks to the commenters setting the record strait on SAR. Only a certified anti society crank would sound off about having to pay for their gas. Just don’t go there, K?

Shasta Guy Nov 18, 2021 07:28 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

“Nature sets the terms, and you must choose to accept them” is applicable to the trails behind town as it is above timberline. I’m prone to ‘mishap shaming’ as well because of my mountaineering experience. If someone needs help or is injured, just go help them. They don’t need a lecture. Nature just gave them one.

ParvoPup Nov 16, 2021 08:12 PM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

This consistent and weekly stupidity rarely happened back in the days when kids spent time in either the Girl Scouts or the Boy Scouts. In other words, the kiddos got educated on how to walk around in wilderness without getting in trouble.

Now, any twit with Apple Pay can load up at REI and go out for their InstaGram moment with no clue of what they are really up against.

I was a mountain kid taught by old guys how things worked in the wild. I spent years in Scouting and worked as an Outback Instructor for the clueless kiddos. I spend half my year living at my off-grid cabin in the Central Sierra and have often come across newbies stumbling around without any idea of what they have gotten themselves into.

There is nothing that one can buy from Patagonia or REI that replaces knowledge.

I have no issue with people looking to get outdoors - just educate yourself first would you please.

edney Nov 16, 2021 06:59 PM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

The misinformation started with the caption of the article. Cold Spring?

Zerohawk said: The best hiker on earth can encounter problems and need help. just because you need help doesn't mean you're a problem.
Very true.
Some of the criticisms contain good advice: carry food, water, extra batteries, a headlamp, a warm piece of clothing and then drift off into editorializing, shaming.

Hopefully these people who are rescued learn the lesson and get better. We are blessed to have a very competent volunteer Search and Rescue to help us.
Yes, if we hike, bike, ride a mule, etc. we should think about kicking down a donation.

Lets try not to be people whose default function is to heap shame onto other people on online message boards.
I'm speaking for myself there as well.

TrailHiker Nov 16, 2021 06:13 PM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

It is interesting to see how misinformed those commenting on this article can be.

Some real facts:
First, members of the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) team are all first responder volunteers. Unlike the local paid "fire departments, public library, post office, and the police department, sheriff department," not a single person in SBCSAR is paid to provide search and rescue to our community. No staff, no administrative administrators, no fundraisers, etc. Thus, absolutely NO taxpayer funds are given to this organization. In fact, most members have to put out several thousands of dollars of their own money to equip and train themselves. When the pager goes off from Dispatch to respond, members leave their family, work, recreational activities, etc. to go out on their own time, at all times of the day, to help others that may have had unfortunate turn of events. This typically is out on our trails but sometimes it is in the urban environment, looking for those with dementia that have wondered off from their homes.

Second, SBCSAR is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. They have NEVER charged for any SAR services. So even if subjects that need their services are charged by the county, it would not get back to them. SBCSAR members do not expect, nor want to be paid for their volunteer work.

Third, all the SAR vehicles and equipment you might see the team use are from donations from the community...both by individuals and other non-profit organizations.

Fourth, as a volunteer unit under the Sheriff Department, their vehicles are provided gas and maintenance through the Sheriff's office budget. Overall, these amounts represent less than 5% of what SBCSAR needs annually to provide professional volunteer search and rescue services to the community. So, to claim hikers injured or lost require taxpayers funds to the extend implied in some of the comments just is not factual.

Fifth, SBCSAR truly values any contributions to the team received from the community, other non-profits and even those those being rescued.

Should all of us hikers take going out into the mountains more seriously...to bring basic items to help us navigate, keep warm or cool, to be sufficiently hydrated, take care of any minor injuries, etc.? Absolutely. We all need to up our personal accountability game. But that accountability also applies to comments made from emotions and not facts.

sacjon Nov 17, 2021 08:58 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

2:48 AM- First, get some sleep, 3am is pretty late to be taking a stand. Second, you're missing my point again. I only stated they get taxpayers funding to rebut the argument that lost hikers should pay them. SBCSAR, and ZERO can back me here, while voluntary, is still somewhat assisted by our tax dollars, no matter how negligible you think that amount is. AGAIN, the point is, lost hikers shouldn't have to pay SBCSAR anymore than victims of crimes shouldn't be required to pay for the help the police give them.

a-1637146091 Nov 17, 2021 02:48 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

Whoah, high horse yourself, Sacjon! Do you realize what this post of yours sounds like?! To me, it's terrible.
You're gonna go to the mat for the following: "Fourth, as a volunteer unit under the Sheriff Department, their vehicles are provided gas and maintenance through the Sheriff's office budget. Overall, these amounts represent less than 5% of what SBCSAR needs annually to provide professional volunteer search and rescue services to the community. So, to claim hikers injured or lost require taxpayers funds to the extend implied in some of the comments just is not factual."

Go for it. I sure won't join you.

sacjon Nov 16, 2021 06:40 PM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

TRAILHIKER - So SBCSAR doesn't receive a penny from the county? "As a volunteer unit under the Sheriff Department, their vehicles are provided gas and maintenance through the Sheriff's office budget." So you admit, their equipment is funded by the Sheriff's office, which is paid for by our taxes. I never said they are paid like cops or firefighters. My point was to rebut those who insist that lost hikers should have to pay for their rescue, as we all do help fund this service, as you said through the Sheriff's department. How about you climb down off that high horse before you fall too hard....

Lucky 777 Nov 16, 2021 10:10 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

I highly recommend that anyone hiking and using their cell phone with map apps take along a Mophie or similar battery to keep the phone charged up. On trail rides I make a track, take photos, and my iPhone stays at 100% because I have an accessory battery in a vest pocket. Otherwise in 2 hours the iPhone will have used up all its power. Of course, if I get lost and caught out in the wilderness as dark approaches I can turn my mule around and he has better eyesight than a human and will get us back to the trail head where he knows a bucket of carrots is awaiting him, strong incentive.

Channelfog Nov 17, 2021 08:24 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

Yes, MTNDRVR, a USGS topo map, and compass work with no electricity and minimal light. They are well printed, available in various scales and not too pricey. Cell phone is great for emergencies, but entails a long chain of high tech that can (and eventually will) always fail. The sextant is another fine non-electric navigational aid for sea.

mtndriver Nov 16, 2021 07:37 PM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

I think it's foolhardy to depend on electronic devices when you're hiking (or riding) on trails, even in the front country. People who hike in areas they don't know well should be skilled in reading a topo map (and HAVE one) and a compass, and good grief, they should be prepared for darkness, for cold. They should have ample water. And really, they should not hike alone! This hiker could have died if his/her friend or relative hadn't notified authorities. Hopefully the person learned something as a result.

Byzantium Nov 16, 2021 10:01 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

After the fact predictable shaming and scolding of those critical of hiker negligence needs to be substituted for preemptive hiker education. in no uncertain terms. Too many basic hiking precautions ignored over and over again are quickly drowned out for some reason by the same voices here who pile on those who rightly are critical of this ongoing hike negligence. Ie: hiking on overly hot days with no water; hiking with unleashed dogs, reckless mountain bikers; hiking at nighttime and getting lost; hiking without a back up plan, maps, proper equipment in case a cell phone goes dead or out of range. Turn these repeated expensive SAR drains on our tax dollars after the fact, into public service announcements and clear trail head warning signs for prevention; not after the fact bail outs on the tax payer dime as well as risk to one's own life and limb. Being outdoors is wonderful and needs to be encouraged- but its predictable reckless misuse as we sell all too often in many SAR efforts should not be subsidized by the taxpayers or be excused by online scolding that effectively discounts hiker responsibility. This is a very discouraging and oppressive habit here. Never take personal responsibility out of any equation. Not everyone is a hapless victim and not every reckless human endeavor requires a fully funded taxpayer bail out.

ZeroHawk Nov 17, 2021 11:19 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

Byz, you really need to think about what you're saying. You're insinuating that there is no fate. there are no off chances things fail or are forgotten. Also what you are saying is going way over the top. You do all of that for a morning hike up Romero? That's pretty strange. I tend to take water, compass, knife, protein bar, medkit, cell phone. All of it is in my camelpack ready to go. Back up plan? Yeah stay on the trail and watch the suns position. You complain about those hiking at night, hiking in the day, hiking this way or that way. Frankly, you're just off and a bit of a nutter if you ask me. I've hiked most all of our frontage trails at night and they are beautiful and fun. You seem like you live in fear and live under a rock. All good man, you just stay there. One day when you need some help and a rescue or a friend or family member, and some SAR save your butt, i doubt you'll be complaining then. I've got family that have been doing SAR for decades in the tri county area, and I think they would love to challenge you on pretty much all of your statements here.

a-1637145581 Nov 17, 2021 02:39 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

"... a very discouraging and oppressive habit"?!?!
I haven't seen you say the same about police, fire, paramedics/ambulance drivers and hospital employees! They all seem to be a part of our social compact.

sacjon Nov 17, 2021 11:26 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

ZERO - maybe my comment was misguided. I only meant that making rescued hikers pay for their rescue seems inappropriate as these services are part of what we, as a society, pay for through taxes. Sure, donate if you want, but to come down on people like this who require rescue to reimburse SBCSAR is silly.

And I just can't believe that SAR is 100% privately funded. The support vehicles are all donated? No tax dollars at all help fund our Search and Rescue team? If not, then something is wrong with that system.

ZeroHawk Nov 17, 2021 11:13 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

as far as I know all SAR in any region are volunteers. Maybe some are paid? I know we have to buy our own equipment. that's for sure. not cheap either!

a-1637145348 Nov 17, 2021 02:35 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

Why jump on the donation suggestion? I thought SAR members were volunteers? It's common to donate to those who helped you -- Look at VNA donations!

ZeroHawk Nov 16, 2021 11:59 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

ok LOVEMYSB, how about you donate to the fire department, public library, post office, and the police department, sheriff department, and social services first.

sacjon Nov 16, 2021 09:41 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

LOVEMYSB - they DO "make donations" to SBCSAR, it's called taxes. Do you expect those who need police or fire department assistance/rescue to pay additional donations to those departments?

Davy Brown Nov 16, 2021 05:45 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

Cathedral Peak "trail" is notorious and this isn't the first time...but out there after 5:30 pm? SAR is pretty kind after noting they "provided water, food, headlamp, offered warm clothing and developed and exit plan to get the hiker out to the trailhead." Out there solo? In the dark? Honestly thoughtless. I also concur that using hiking apps AND the cell phone light rapidly reduces the battery. Most hikers set out in pairs at least, with extra batteries, and keep an eye on the clock.

ZeroHawk Nov 17, 2021 11:12 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

that's great, Shasta!
I've been an avid outdoorsman since I was about 8 or 9. Over 4 decades of backpacking, through hiking, day hikes, weekend backpacking trips etc in our area. There have been times when myself and other folks with experience needed help. Sometimes we push ourselves to the limit, we can lose track of time and sunlight. Sometimes you just slip and fall and twist something. Sometimes you can get nailed by a rattlesnake, or your cell phone craps out on you. There are so many things that can go wrong and no matter how experienced you are or how prepared you are, we have to remember one thing...we are not in control of Mother Nature or fate.

Shasta Guy Nov 16, 2021 06:45 PM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

Thanks Zerohawk for what you do for SAR. There are a lot of reasons for people needing help out there, and I’m glad that there are people like you to get them back safely. A friend of mine recently had to be extracted from a predicament on a trail, and SAR got him home. He was an experienced backpacker that circumstances got the best of him.

ZeroHawk Nov 16, 2021 09:25 AM
Cold Spring Trail Rescue for Overdue Hiker

love how all of you armchair hikers have so much input but yet, you weren't there and no little about the hiker and circumstances which lead to them needing help, which brings up another thing, why do you people have such a problem with someone else, other than you, receiving help? It's a bit much and constant on any SAR post. I happen to work in SAR. So i know way better than most about these situations. Both myself and my dog do SAR mountain/water. The best hiker on earth can encounter problems and need help. just because you need help doesn't mean you're a problem. the only ones with a problem are those criticizing the subject for needing help. Weird. You think about that next time and put yourself in their shoes, i have countless times.

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