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El Dorado County, Calif. – On October 23, 2017, at 6:00 a.m., California Highway Patrol Helicopter 24 (H-24) was requested for a Search and Rescue (SAR). H-24 was asked to assist in locating two overdue hikers near the east slope of Mt. Tallac. The initial call came in at approximately 3:00 a.m. to the Sheriff’s Department requesting a rescue for the two lost hikers, Mr. and Mrs. Cantor, who prepared for a day hike and were stuck out overnight. Their intentions were to hike Mt. Tallac and back in one day. During their hike, they became disoriented due to patches of snow left from a previous storm, which resulted in them becoming lost. As darkness fell, they decided to hike down the east side of Mt. Tallac, which was very steep and consisted of loose shale rock. Becoming fatigued and lacking proper light to continue, the Cantor’s decided to stay in place and call 911 for help. Their decision not to go further possibly saved their life. The terrain below them was impassable due to the steep sheer cliffs.
H-24 responded for a first light search from the Auburn Airport. While en route, additional information came in that SAR member, Mark Carlisle and James Burns had hiked down to the two victims and determined they had sustained injuries making it impossible to hike uphill. H-24 was requested to hoist the couple from the mountain side to a designated landing zone at the base of the mountain. H-24’s crew inserted rescue equipment to the SAR team members so that Mr. and Mrs. Cantor could be hoisted to safety. Both parties were flown to El Dorado Sheriff’s Deputy G. Almos who was waiting at the landing zone. Both parties declined any medical treatment.
SAFETY TIP: As we approach the winter months, the weather in the high Sierra’s can change at a moment’s notice. The weather at ground elevations may not be the same as that higher up in the mountains. Be overly prepared when hiking in the back country. Always carry more food and clothing than needed for your trip. Mr. and Mrs. Cantor were lucky their cell phone had reception and they made a wise decision to discontinue their hike as darkness fell.