By all appearances, it started out as a normal day hike, but it ended with a dramatic helicopter rescue for blogger Dan Pearce, known as Single Dad Laughing.
In a press release by Mr. Pearce, “The blogger was attempting to hike the rigorous Box Elder Pass when he and two friends deviated mistakenly onto an unmarked trail. The new trail took them six miles to the summit of Alpine’s East Mountain, more than 3,200 feet above the trailhead. East Mountain is rarely hiked and is known for its unfriendly terrain.”
According to REI, the regular hike without the trail deviation is pretty killer: 4,000 feet of rise over four miles. Going an additional 3,200 feet of rise would definitely tax even the most well-trained hiker.
Heat cramps, dehydration, and muscle spasms led to Mr. Pearce eventually passing out entirely, causing his hiking companions to call search and rescue to help get him off the mountain. It took almost three hours for them to arrive. More from the press release:
Search and Rescue informed the group that they were sending responders immediately and would decide what to do after they had arrived at the downed hiker. Nearly three hours passed before first responder David Lynton was able to reach the summit where Pearce was found lying in the shade. In a strange twist of events, Lynton was one of Pearce’s Boy Scout Leaders twenty years earlier. “That was the hardest hike I have ever done, and several other Search and Rescue members commented on its difficulty,” Lynton said of the trail they had to hike to reach Pearce.
Mr. Pearce is extremely grateful to those that worked so hard to rescue him.
“I have never been as overwhelmed as I was by the committed concern of strangers and loved ones while on that mountain. Nobody cared how I got into that predicament, they only cared about safely getting me out of it. I grew a deep love for a lot of complete strangers that day. And I learned a lot about what it means to be selfless.”
He’s only hinted at this story in his blog and is currently camping with his son Noah. We here at MomCrunch have a tip for his weekend camping trip – keep the hiking light, okay?