Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday [7/27/17]

General Palm Springs area.

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby zippetydude » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:03 pm

Goodness, that Amboy tragedy took place so quickly. I usually expect at least a two or three day buffer of time for survival even if I get in trouble in the desert. I hate to hear of a tragedy like that where the people really didn't even have a chance. Yes, Cynthia, it has been a very sad series of events in the past few days.

z
User avatar
zippetydude
 
Posts: 2612
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 5:40 am

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby OtherHand » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:41 pm

On August 22, 2011 a couple were found dead on the dirt Black Mountain Road just a few miles east of the paved Pinto Basin Road. The couple, from the Netherlands and Germany (always with the Germans) had driven their rental Dodge Charger down Black Mountain Road and got it stuck in some sand about 5 miles from pavement. They apparently attempted to walk west back to the pavement. The man's body was found about 1.5 miles from the pavement and the woman's about 2.5 miles from the pavement.

Here's what I find amazing....They had entered the park just before Noon that same day, and their bodies were discovered by some other tourists driving the dirt road around 6:45 PM. Given travel time and all, they only lasted a few hours. Had they just stayed in their vehicle with the AC running, they could have safely walked back to the pavement in the early evening with a two hour walk. Or, better yet, they would have been discovered safely sitting in their cool, stuck car by the same tourists who found their bodies.

The desert can be far more unforgiving that most people realize. These sort of incidents are always good to keep in mind if considering self-rescue. My awareness of these sort of things has markedly changed the way I think when I find myself in...umm...situations. As soon as I become aware I may have made a mistake, I become hyper-aware of making a second one. It's usually not a single mistake that kills someone, it's a cascade of several bad decisions. And changing any one of them will change the outcome.
OtherHand
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:07 pm

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby zippetydude » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:48 pm

I have acquired a new skill. Time travel. Apparently I responded to Otherhands post before he posted. I will try this new skill out next week on the stock market. If it pans out, I will buy an entire armada of SAR drones for Joshua Tree just after I make my first bazillion. Wish me luck. Just in case you wonder if I have lost my mind, look at the time and date stamp of the previous two posts. Otherhand posted at 6:41 pm and I responded at 6:03. " Welcome to the Twilight Zone. You have entered a dimension of sight and sound, and time..."

z
User avatar
zippetydude
 
Posts: 2612
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 5:40 am

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby cynthia23 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:34 pm

I'm in a Twilight Zone too, Zip, but in mine, I seem to be always slightly behind everyone else's time. :oops: Maybe we can trade, er, sometime.

I remember that sad case of the couple from the Netherlands. It was particularly poignant because they had been saving up for years to go to Joshua Tree--apparently it was deeply meaningful to them, a real pilgrimage of sorts. And I remember the particular tragedy was that they were on a road, albeit not a frequently traveled one--they simply could have waited in their car. But they had no concept of how quickly heat can kill you.
Q: How many therapists does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change ...
cynthia23
 
Posts: 1257
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Rancho Mirage

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Sean » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:55 am

bretpct wrote:Here was a somewhat recent incident where a couple ... succumbed to the heat simply by getting stuck in on a 4wd road and trying to walk to find help.


Other articles, easily googled, suggest that Van Hove, a music promoter, was searching for the famous Joshua Tree on a U2 album cover of the same name. He had told friends this was his plan. And Bono recently dedicated a concert at the Rose Bowl to him and his girlfriend, Nuellett. Apparently it is a thing with some U2 fans. They just want to see the Joshua Trees made famous by the album cover. And so not being serious about desert travel, they make ignorant mistakes and get into bad trouble.
User avatar
Sean
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 10:48 am
Location: Monterey Park, CA

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Ed » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:05 am

You would think that people from northern Europe would take their vacations in our southwestern desert in the winter, when their weather is cold and dreary. They do have a fascination with our desert, I've heard it from many of them. Their standard comment is that it is something they can't find in Europe.

Are there good trail maps of Joshua Tree? I checked the Tom Harrison map online, the scale seems large. I searched my National Geographic 7.5' topos for Maze Loop, and found nothing.

I must admit, my desert navigation has tended to be 'follow someone who knows what they are doing'. I remember one trip where I was the navigator, the objectives were Castle Dome and Kofa. What a disaster! Ended up downclimbing a 4th or 5th class chute, failed to make either summit.
Ed
 
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:04 pm
Location: San Diego Area

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Wildhorse » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:59 am

Hi Ed, the old book by Patti Furbush is the best I have seen. In my experience, Joshua Tree is best enjoyed off trail place. One gets to know it combining experience, usgs maps, gps, compass, looking at the land from high points and reading books and the notes of others.

I have not spent much time on trails there. Instead, I just find my own way. One must expect confusion and enjoy uncertainty. The maze area is okay, but less interesting than many others.
Wildhorse
 
Posts: 476
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:11 pm

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby drndr » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:26 pm

Alright since no one else is going to ask him, I will. OtherHand, when will you get your hands on the gps tracks of all the SAR personnel? Especially since you are our expert. :D I'd be curious where they searched. Really liked reading and researching your gps maps of Ewasko.

D
"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time"
drndr
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:10 am
Location: Riverside

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Myth » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:28 pm

The desert kills, and it kills pretty quickly, when temperatures soar. I have a healthy respect for it and I don’t visit the backcountry at all during the dog days. Just not worth it. And keep in mind that, for example, 105F in the afternoon is much hotter if you’re walking through open desert and the earth reflects the heat back at you.

Your body operates at 98.6-ish F. If you’re out in temperatures hotter than that, whether you are generating heat by moving, or sitting quietly in the sun, you will begin overheating if you're not using external sources to cool off. Your sweat will cool you evaporatively up to a point, as long as you stay hydrated enough to sweat, but your body's ability to cool itself becomes ineffective quickly. So at some point, faster than you think, you will die if you're out in the heat without access to shade and water. You can't will yourself to endure, either - the body, especially the brain, is made up of proteins that simply start breaking down at 105F and above, which is why the definition of heat stroke is a core temperature of 105F+.

Ed - The Maze Loop Trail was created some time in the early 2000’s as I recall so you won’t find it on the older topos or on maps based on them. There are not very many good trail maps of JT that I know of. I have the Harrison map, it is most useful as a rough overview map. Mostly I go overland down washes or things, or on the older routes, so I tend to use 7.5’ topo maps.
Myth
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Ed » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:49 pm

Wildhorse and Myth, thanks for the info. I will buy the Tom Harrison map for an overview. The Patty Furbush book seems to be one of those older books which is now out of print and expensive for a new copy.

I know the heat can kill you quickly. Still, given the ages of Joe Orbeso and Rachel Nguyen, and the temperatures around then, I would have expected them to survive until at least mid-afternoon of the second day, barring some factor of which we are not aware.
Ed
 
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:04 pm
Location: San Diego Area

PreviousNext

Return to Mt. San Jacinto & Santa Rosa Mountains

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 8 guests

cron