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Florida hiker flown out of backcountry

July 3, 2014

A solo hiker from Florida who became lost near the Silver Peak area southwest of Mammoth had to be flown out of the backcountry early last week after she was located by Mono County Search and Rescue team members.

The female hiker became lost during a solo, multi-day backpack trip sometime during the day on June 23 while traversing the Cascade Valley area, around Silver Peak.

According to the Mono County Sheriff’s Department, for a 24-hour period, the hiker attempted to relocate the trail, but she then became ill and she stayed in place overnight.

On the morning of Tuesday, June 24, the hiker knew she was still lost and activated her SPOT personal locator beacon, sending out a distress signal.

Due to her location, Fresno County picked up the distress signal, not Mono County (the Cascade Valley drains a fork of the San Joaquin River which flows toward Fresno, allowing better communication to the west side of the Sierra crest than the Eastside) and a California Highway Patrol (CHP) H40 helicopter responded to the area to attempt rescue.

Due to the location of the hiker and the weather conditions, the helicopter was unable to land. The helicopter crew was unable to determine the severity of the hiker’s condition from the air and flew to the Mammoth/Yosemite Airport and requested the Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team to assist with a hoist operation.

The SAR members and a member who is an EMT accompanied the H40 crew back to the hiker’s location and was hoisted down to evaluate her medical condition.

No medical treatment was needed and she was hoisted out, with the SAR member, and flown back to the Mammoth/Yosemite Airport.

No further medical treatment was needed and she was safely taken to her hotel in Mammoth Lakes.

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