Mountain rescue group saves local hiker

Members of the China Lake Mountain Rescue Group joined an interagency search for and overnight rescue of a hiker who was injured below Owens Peak near Grapevine Canyon last Wednesday.

The subject, Karin Jain of Ridgecrst, had climbed Owens Peak that day with her son. They attempted to descend a steep and treacherous trail down into Grapevine Canyon. Part way down Jain slipped and suffered a probable hip dislocation. With limited cell phone coverage, they activated their emergency SPOT device, which sends a 9-1-1 signal along with GPS coordinates to, in this case, the Kern?County Sheriff’s Office.

According to county officials, wind conditions and the rough terrain made a helicopter extraction unfeasible. As a result, the Mountain Rescue team was called. Seven CLMRG members arrived at approimately 10 p.m. They were joined by two members of the Kern?County Fire Department. At 2 a.m., the victim was secured in a litter so that she could be transported down the arduous descent.

Multiple rope pitches were required to safely lower the litter down the cross-country route, said a volunteer. Four additional members from the Kern?Valley SAR team joined the first respondants and assisted in the extraction. Once Jain was transported to the main access road, she was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The rescue came on the heels of a CLMRG operation assisting the Inyo SAR team in search of two overdue hikers in the mountains near Lone Pine. The hikers became lost near the Kenot mine area and did not return to their designated pick-up point. CLMRG joined in the successful rescue of those hikers, who were uninjured.

The China Lake Mountain Rescue Group, which has worked in this area for more than 50 years, is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization affiliated with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and is a member of the Mountain Rescue Association.

Story First Published: 2012-11-14