Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit reached two Orange County hikers, lost in the San Jacinto wilderness early in the morning of Wednesday, May 9. A Riverside County Sheriff’s Department aviation unit was unable to retrieve them because of high winds.
Hikers Michael Blanc, 63, of Anaheim, and Malgurzata Domagala, 39, of Mission Viejo, had become disoriented at about the 9,900-foot elevation on the mountain. One of the hikers used a cell phone to summon help around 7 p.m.
RMRU reached the hikers at shortly after 1 a.m. and escorted them to the ranger station near the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The hikers then took the first tramcar down the mountain in the morning, reaching their vehicle around 7 a.m. on the morning of May 9. They were in good health and required no medical attention.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department advises all hikers to prepare well for even day hikes, with maps, sufficient water and the appropriate clothing.
According to existing county protocol, the costs of rescue for out-of-county residents are billed to their respective county as part of mutual aid and recovery policy.