Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Postby OtherHand » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:25 pm

I'm not sure what to make of this. It got my attention initially because the press reports said the hiker broke his leg around Quail Mountain. That's pretty remote and would be a big damn deal. So I've been watching the local outlets for more details, but strangely, didn't find much.

Then Z107.7 FM fills in the details, and it's not anywhere near Quail. It was just 1.5 miles from Keys View, and according to the article he was only about a quarter mile east of the road. It seems like with that sort of proximity he should have been able to find a high point and signal the road with some sort of reflection. I understand he had a broken femur (must have been a good fall) but in his video he talks about crawling up to a plateau.

I'm going to speculate he was attempting some sort of cross country trip to the Lost Horse area, which is sorta weird in the heat of Summer. There really aren't any other destinations out to the east of Keys View Road. And I'm inclined to think the location description in the Z107.7 piece is accurate because of its level of specificity.

It's another good example of how the park feels benign and friendly, and so much like a...park. But get a short distance off the road and the place can really mess you up, sometimes fatally. The average park goer has no idea how easy it is to die out there.
OtherHand
 
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:07 pm

Re: Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Postby Ed » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:12 am

I saw the selfie video on national TV, and it struck me as strange.

I take issue with the standard official advice given following this and similar incidents: carry water, leave an itinerary, etc. With the weak suggestion at the end for a satellite-based SOS device. I think the up-front advice should be if you are hiking alone in the desert, and particularly off-trail in the summer, you should carry a SBSOS device. As pointed out and discussed so many times on this discussion board, it is simply too easy to have an accident that immobilizes you in an area with no cell phone connection, and too difficult for SAR to find you, if you are even a short distance off-trail. Admittedly, service for these devices is getting a little expensive, with the most basic service running about $12 per month now. But nobody forces you to hike in the desert in the summer alone.
Ed
 
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:04 pm
Location: San Diego Area

Re: Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Postby OtherHand » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:52 am

Another bit of strangeness to it is that the hiker stated he "tagged his location" before leaving his vehicle, enabling his family to know his whereabouts. Yet unless someone is actually at Keys View, overlooking the Coachella Valley, there's no cell coverage. So the implication is that he had some sort of satellite comms device, at the minimum a SPOT. So why wouldn't it be usable at the location he had his incident? Unless he left it at the vehicle, which would be really nuts.
OtherHand
 
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:07 pm

Re: Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Postby Ed » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:08 pm

I did not understand what 'tagged his location' meant, but thought perhaps other people might. Could he have been using a car-based system that he could not take with him?
Ed
 
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:04 pm
Location: San Diego Area

Re: Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Postby OtherHand » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:21 pm

As far as I know, all vehicle based systems, like Onstar, use cellular networks. I'm not aware of any vehicle assistance system that uses satellites. There's just so much oddness about the incident.
OtherHand
 
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:07 pm

Re: Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Postby bretpct » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:02 pm

OtherHand wrote:There's just so much oddness about the incident.


"Survived off juniper berries" stuck out to me. I've tried eating them before and those aren't much to survive off of. I don't think I'd be so starving after less than two days I'd start popping them down; maybe he was looking for any kind of moisture?

Though 2 liters of water seems like a good amount if you only hiked a half mile and ended up in shade like in his video. Would your mouth dry of all saliva within 40 hours? Seems like if you were stationary and in shade with 2L of water you could manage It to last a couple days.

And yeah, the whole "tagging" his location doesn't make much sense. On an iPhone you can share your location but that is cell signal dependent.
bretpct
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:40 pm

Re: Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Postby zippetydude » Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:30 pm

Weird indeed. Silly how news outlets try to make less than two days into "an incredible 40 hours!" of survival. Glad he made it, but the juniper berries story was ridiculous. He probably tasted one and spit it out. Still, he needed surgery, so apparently it was more than just a crack in the femur, so I find it remarkable how calm he appears in his selfie video. How is it these things are always so weird?

I know this is off topic (but it is weird!), I never saw where they actually found Paul Miller. Has the actual location been released yet? Is there any explanation as to how it took so long to find him, ultimately needing a drone to do so? That one totally mystified me because he couldn't have been far from the trail, and was almost certainly well within the search perimeter...any word on that?

z
User avatar
zippetydude
 
Posts: 2719
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 5:40 am

Re: Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Postby OtherHand » Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:41 pm

I haven't heard any official release of where he was found, but Miller was found right about here:
34.112417°, -116.102631°
OtherHand
 
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:07 pm

Re: Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Postby Perry » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:26 am

To reach the spot you have to climb out of the drainage or descend a steep slope. My guess is that he was attempting a loop and overheated on the uphill and passed out or tripped. Only a theory and difficult to say with much certainty.
I like microtones in microdoses.
Perry
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1444
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: The Desert

Re: Another weird one in Joshua Tree - Injured hiker

Postby drndr » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:58 am

I had read somewhere that SnR had been within easy shouting distance early in the search and that when he was found had water on him. They surmised a quick death with a fall. But now I cant remember how accurate this info may have been.
"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time"
drndr
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:10 am
Location: Riverside

Next

Return to Outdoors-Related Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests