Rescuers Keep Trying to Reach Hikers Trapped by Unexpected Snowfall Last Night

Del Norte County Sheriff's OfficeSnowfall trapped a man, a woman and a dog who were camping in the Devil’s Punchbowl near Gasquet, according to Commander Bill Steven of the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office. The man managed to call 911 last night and requested assistance. Steven said the man reported that they were safe with a tent and enough food at that time but they didn’t believe they could navigate their way out. As of 9 p.m. last night they were reporting 6″ of snow.

Attempts to reach the couple have failed so far. A California Highway Patrol helicopter was thwarted by weather conditions, Steven said. “It was going to try and pluck them out of there,” he explained but bad weather kept that from happening. As of 3 p.m. today, the county road had most likely been graded to the trailhead according to Steven. Then, he explained, rescuers must hike in over five miles to where the couple is camped.

“I don’t know if [the rescue crew] had to get snowshoes,” Steven said but they won’t be able to use snowmobiles as the trail is quite rugged.

“This is a several hour hike in the summer time,” Steven pointed out. “Hopefully, they’ll get them out by dark or a little later.

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25 comments

  • Its a good thing they where able to make some sort of contact and hopefully they all make out safe, I stay extra aware of any place with word “devil” in it and I’ve also heard that town of Gasquet has some strange missing persons cases, just throwing that out there

  • lets make things up

    Well aren’t you the helpful one, brown dwarf something. Many of us pass by Gasquet and know people around there too. It’s all a conspiracy right? Why don’t you just make more things up….brown dwarf….

  • Hope they’re safe, but why unprepared for conditions that may arise. Be prepared for the unexpected, be it work, play or school ( Mr. Natural sez). Really browndwarf?

  • its not superstition, I’m just saying people should be aware of when and where they camp…. and i apologize if I’ve offended anyone, no conspiracy here,when these things happen I pray for a positive outcome and respect all of those involved in the efforts to help

    • Dude don’t worry about it brown d. People love to over react to shit in here…just have fun with it..even though this is a very real & scary situation. I laughed at what you said & totally agree…you’d never see me in the devil’s playground either. Nobody’s wishing Ill on these folks..hope they make it.

  • A little harsh on browndwarf if you ask me. Anyone camping this late in the season probably knows the risks and has a plan.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Yeah, that’s the point. Anyone camping anywhere in the Klamath Knot, or California mountains in general “this late in the season” had better know the risks and have a plan. Obviously this pair had absolutely no idea of where they were going, what they were doing and the season they were doing it in. Did they know that on THIS planet at this latitude in late November you only have maybe 8 hours of daylight? They had inadequate gear because they were oblivious to the risks of cold-weather winter camping. If they had had a plan, they would not be stuck in the snow in the mountains with 9 lives now at risk (talkin’ ’bout risks) if you count the dog. Then there are the government (gasp) agents like the support staff, CHP chopper, county road crews, taking risks (there it is, again) over the Holiday and expending public funds to rescue people who would never have been in trouble to begin with if they had a plan or even a weather forecast. These folks could be this week’s runaway finalists in the Darwin Cup competition.

  • WTF why even go camping that far out without checking the weather, and now to need assistance because of their own ineptitude? Seems strange. And the commenter who says anyone camping knows the risks and has a plan; really? These people do not seem to have had a plan.

  • Well the 14 year old young lady who “got lost” in the woods sure got a lot of attention and a helicopter ride out. Really? Now a couple who made poor judgement need to hang tight? I really think we need to respect Darwin? These people if saved will breed!

  • Silverlining, SHOULD know risks and plan. This couple apparently didn’t. This is why it’s always best to check weather forecasts before hand. Even still, when planning big hikes, try to take weather changes into consideration. As stated in other reports for Humboldt county, this has been a really wet fall, and a cold one too. At the first sign of snowfall, they should have turned back, especially if they headed off a main/marked trail way. But then again, I’m also a little confused by the report. The camper made the call at 3pm saying they didn’t think they could navigate back, but then reported 6″ of snow at 9pm–yet earlier in the article it was stated that snowfall trapped them in? Was it just falling that heavy and there was low visibility (something even the most seasoned hikers may have a hard time with)? Either way, I’m glad they are safe–things like this have a tendency to not end well.

    • The call from the campers came at 9 p.m Tuesday. As of 3 p.m. on Wednesday in an effort to reach the folks, county roads had plowed the road up to the trailhead so that rescuers could set out from there.

      • Ok, so I was just misunderstanding the report :). Even with that straightened out, that still means they either went out in the snow, or went out and it started snowing, correct? Have the rescuers and couple returned? Thanks, Kym!

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Kym, snow at that elevation in November is very much to be expected. With storms and heavy rains piling in day after day, snow in the mountains was absolutely to be expected. What the hell were they thinking? Where have they been for the last month? I have done stupid things nearly this bad. It’s OK for them to face it; they were stupid and let’s hope nobody dies for it. No excuses. They obviously were not equiped for winter survival. Did they even know that it’s winter in this hemisphere?

    • Rescuers were headed back out at 415am on this nasty thanksgiving stormy morning. No helicopter can help due to low visibility and bad weather conditions. Please pray for everyone involved.

    • They prolly didn’t grow up in snow.

      I used to enjoy hunting pheasants or taking the dog into the woods for a 5-7 mile hike during snow storms. But we were usually dressed appropriately had a lot of experience in those conditions.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Plus, pheasants are typically hunted in flat, farmed, well-roaded and low-elevation grain-fields. Never been to Devil’s punchbowl, but I guarantee it was way different than Farmer John’s corn or soy beans. Used to hunt pheasant in such a field in Ohio, but not in the snow. My buddy was red-green color-blind so I had to yell Hen! If if the bird was not a rooster. The occasional collateral damage was termed “an owl” by Uncle Fritz.

  • Happy Thanksgiving,,Big Dummies!

  • When it snows you cannot see the trail. The trees are all sagging down covered in snow. Thus you have a hard time orienting yourself. It’s basic. You have a hard time finding proper direction. With that little of snow and no deep snow base to hold the ground and rocks,things are slippery. 5 miles in even worse. scary situation even for an experienced woodsman. Always check the weather before you go trekking!!!

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Plus, hiking around the mountains at night even in the summer is a good way to break your leg or your neck.

  • Lucky Sasquatch didn’t find them. Sounds like easy pickings.

  • Praying for everyone’s safe return.they must be safe it’s the day for it.be safe all

  • They are trapped in the heart of Sasquatch country.

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