Two stranded climbers were rescued from Tahquitz Rock last week.
The young Orange County men wanted to climb the rock. “They did their research on how to get up,” said Les Walker of the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit, “but they didn’t do research on how to get down.”
After getting to the top on Tuesday, April 15, they decided to repel down a different path. Eventually they got to a ledge from where they were not confident about either descending further or returning to the top of the rock.
Walker was called out and explained to the Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy in Humber Park what he planned and took off with ropes and equipment. His RMRU partner, Eric Holden, arrived slightly later and brought extra equipment to the rock’s base.
From the base, Walker could see the stranded climbers’ headlights about 150 to 200 feet above. After calling to them, he realized they were uncomfortable repelling down in the dark, unsure of the length of their rope.
“So I climbed up an alternative route and down to them,” Walker said, describing the rescue. “I hooked up their ropes and repelled the first one down then climbed up for the second.”
By 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, the climbers were returning to Orange County and Walker was home.