Death Valley National Park (CA)
Two Day Search Ends With Rescue
On the evening of Monday, March 23rd, rangers received a report that a visitor was stranded on a ledge in Golden Canyon, a popular hiking area in Death Valley. Rangers hiked the trail system by headlamp but were unable to locate the visitor.
On Tuesday, park personnel were able to make voice contact with the nab, who was trapped at the top of a series of dry waterfalls, some of which were greater than 100 feet high. Rangers directed a U.S. Navy search and rescue helicopter to his location, where he was hoisted into the aircraft without incident.
He was flown to the Furnace Creek Airfield, where he was medically evaluated and debriefed. He said that he left the main trail system and began following a series of social trails until he became “cliffed out”. Once he realized that he was trapped he sheltered in place overnight and awaited rescue.
Search and rescue efforts were supported by members of protection, fee collection, interpretation, resource management, maintenance, and management branches, as well as military personnel from the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.
This gentleman certainly could have used a whistle or a light, or whatever. When out rambling, it is worth asking yourself if you can retrace your steps.
If the NPS keeps this up, Death Valley will need a new name....