One of the recent ones involves sixty-two-year-old Alyof Krost, who went missing during a hike with a group of 20 people being led by two guides on the Pinnacle Trail at Lake Arrowhead in California.
Now you wouldn’t think you could get lost if you were surrounded by 20 people and two guides, but here’s what happened.
At some point during the hike, Krost became fatigued and stopped to rest on the side of the trail. The back guide, who was bringing up the rear, was also starting to feel sick, so he stayed behind with Krost while the front guide continued to lead the rest of the group along the trail.
Krost eventually regained enough energy to resume the hike and left the sick guide behind as he continued up the trail to join the rest of the group that had gone on ahead.
After a while, the back guide felt well enough to continue up the trail, and he eventually caught up to the main group. That’s when he discovered that Krost never reunited with them.
Fearing for the lost hiker, the entire group turned around and hiked back down the trail to search for Krost. But they never found him.
Search and rescue teams were called in, and they combed the area for several days on the ground and from the air, using tracking dogs, heat-sensing night-vision devices, and more than a hundred searchers. Still nothing.
Whatever happened to Alyof Krost is still a mystery. But there are simple strategies that can help prevent something like this from happening to you.
- Never hike alone. While Krost was following this rule in the beginning, there came a point when he left the rear guide and took off on his own to try to catch up with the rest of the hiking group. If he had stayed with the guide, things would have turned out differently.
- Don’t leave the trail for any reason. If you become injured or sick or just turned around and unsure of which way to go, stay near the trail, because that is where searchers will begin looking.
- Make yourself as visible and audible as possible, using colorful clothing or equipment or a signal mirror to show your location to searchers, and make noise with a signal whistle or other noise-making device to attract attention.
- Stay put. Don’t wander around searching for a way to rescue yourself. The rescue team will begin the search at your last known position, then expand the search outward from that point. If you’re wandering around, you might travel outside their search perimeter. So just sit down and wait for them to find you.