On Thursday, June 14, around 5 p.m., Riverside County Sheriff’s Department received a call from two hikers in need of rescue. Sixty-seven-year-old John Wilson of Walnut, Calif., and 21-year-old Evan Boccardi from New York had gotten off the trail and stuck in the Long Valley drainage area at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit responded around 5:30 p.m. The recuers reached the subjects around 7:30 p.m. and began a difficult technical rescue that did not end until 2 a.m. with the safe return of both hikers to the tram mountaintop station. “They had gotten in way over their heads,” said Les Walker, RMRU volunteer. “Because of where they were it was a full technical. We had to run ropes and harnesses.” On the team with Walker were Lee Arnson and Helene Lohr.
Wilson and Boccardi said they were not injured and refused medical attention.