HomeOutdoorsNewsMountain Climber Finds His Way Back to Camp After Going Missing For 24 Hours

Mountain Climber Finds His Way Back to Camp After Going Missing For 24 Hours

by Amy Myers
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

A man who previously summitted Mt. Everest went missing while hiking through Anza Borrego Desert State Park, and understandably, authorities feared the worst for the experienced mountain climber.

Dawes Eddy, 79, of Spokane, Washington, planned on returning from the San Ysidro Mountain East Peak at around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, but he never showed, prompting concern from loved ones. After the climber failed to show up, sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Jenkins assembled a team of deputies, search and rescue volunteers, state park rangers and a county Sheriff’s Department helicopter to scour the region for any sign of Eddy.

Unfortunately, they came up empty-handed from their efforts.

Thankfully, the worry didn’t last long because the following day, Eddy finally appeared making his way back to the Palm Canyon Campgrounds just after 9 a.m. Wednesday. 

Apparently, after Eddy finished climbing San Ysidro Mountain, he realized he needed to hunker down instead of trying to navigate back to the campground in the dark. According to Jenkins, the mountain climber used his “survival skills” to keep warm and safe through the night. Then in the morning, he made his way back to Palm Canyon Campground with only minor injuries.

With Eddy’s extensive experience in high-risk situations, it’s not all that shocking that he was able to devise a safe plan for exiting the backcountry on his own. Back in 2009, he became the oldest American to reach the top of Mt. Everest at age 66. Unfortunately, Eddy held onto this title for only two days before a 67-year-old broke this record again, according to The Spokesman-Review.

Mountain Climber Crawls on Hands and Knees After Injuring Ankle

While traveling to the peak of Glyder Fach in Snowdonia, North Wales, a climber sustained a significant ankle injury that forced him to finish the route on his hands and knees.

According to the tenacious climber, a three-foot rock became dislodged as he and his buddy were passing by.

A call came into the local Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue regarding the accident, but there was bad news – he still needed to reach the rope that the crew had lowered. So, even after breaking his ankle, the 60-year-old man kept crawling toward the rope system. The responding crew consisted of four technicians, and the operation took roughly 14 hours, start to finish.

Chris Lloyd, a member of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue, explained that there was going to be an aerial unit, but they were otherwise occupied.

“The Coastguard helicopter was requested but low cloud and a higher priority job meant they were unable to help,” Lloyd said, adding, “A rope rescue was set up to raise the casualty to easier ground.”

The mountain rescue expert also shared that this extraction was one of the longest that they’ve completed this year.

Once they had custody of the climber, they loaded him onto a stretcher and carried him out of the field.