Sheriffs Rescue California Family Stranded in Steep Canyon After Three Days

by Lauren Boisvert

A California family stranded in the Tahoe National Forest was finally rescued after three days in a remote area in Fiddle Creek. The family of four–a husband and wife with their 10-year-old and 3-month-old children–hiked out to one of the steepest canyons in Sierra County. They were on their way back to their car when heat exhaustion put the mother out of commission, according to the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office.

The family was about 2,500 feet into the canyon, but the mother wasn’t able to continue the trek. Her husband hiked back out of the canyon alone and contacted emergency assistance. California Highway Patrol Air Operations responded to his call. They sent out a helicopter to search for the woman and her children on August 15. But, initially, they couldn’t find them through the thick tree cover, so they searched for the husband instead.

They had parked their car at the canyon rim before the hike. When air rescue crews spotted the husband, they were able to lead the authorities and emergency rescue teams to him. He then in turn led them back to his family. Nevada County Search and Rescue escorted the husband and two children from the canyon to safety. But, emergency personnel from Downieville Fire Department and Tahoe National Forest Service had to stay with the wife overnight. There was not enough daylight to safely transfer her to the helicopter. She was hoisted from the canyon and into a medevac helicopter first thing in the morning.

A family who was hiking nearby aided emergency responders as well. They allowed the Sheriff’s Office to use their ATVs to send rescuers in and out of the canyon.

California Climber Rescued After Falling Nearly 60 Feet

In other news out of California, on around the same day that the stranded family was being rescued, a 19-year-old climber was rescued from Mount Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County, California. According to officials, the young climber fell between 30 and 60 feet down a steep cliff.

California Highway Patrol’s Golden Gate Division Air Operations reported that he landed on a ledge, but sustained major injuries in the fall. He was airlifted to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek for medical attention. Police and emergency officials did not reveal any more details on the climber’s condition or the situation.

In similar news, a climber was injured and had to be rescued after they were stranded on a cliffside in Zion National Park in Utah this past May. The climber fell in the remote area known as Kolob Canyon. The Utah Department of Public Safety issued a statement and photo of the climber after he was rescued. Allegedly, he clung to the steep cliff face all night, not able to move in any direction.

“He spent the night there cold, injured, unprepared. Please plan ahead before you go out,” said Utah DPS, using this man’s story as a cautionary tale for other climbers.