The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a missing hiker on Sunday, Sept. 30 just after 6 p.m. He was found the next morning.
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Two men and two women had gone on a hike into Desolation Wilderness after parking at the Echo Lakes Lodge, a press release stated. Their intent had been to hike Lake Aloha and Lake of the Woods before returning.
At Lake of the Woods, the hikers decided to separate and meet back at the vehicle. Chris Major, 38, from Brooklyn, N.Y., did not arrive when expected. He was last seen at Lake of the Woods around 3:30 p.m.
The three other hikers arrived at the vehicle before dark and waited for Major. They became worried as darkness fell and the man did not appear.
After evaluating the situation, deputies called upon Volunteer Search and Rescue personnel to prepare for a search in the morning. During the night, patrol personnel continually checked nearby roadways in case Major walked out.
By morning, the man had still not been found. SAR responded to the area to begin the search. Foot teams and a CHP helicopter were both utilized.
At around 9:20 a.m., EDSO was advised that Major had sent a text message to a friend. He wrote that he was with other, unknown hikers, still in Desolation Wilderness. About a half-hour later, Major made a call to a friend, allowing SAR to speak directly with him and determine his location.
SAR met with Major at 10:37 a.m. in the backcountry and walked him out. They arrived at the Echo Lakes Lodge about an hour later.
Major was found to have several minor cuts and abrasions from hiking through brush and climbing rocks, but declined medical treatment. He informed SAR that he had started a small fire to keep warm and came across other hikers in the morning. It was their phone that he used to contact a friend and led to his rescue.
Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or [email protected] Follow @CMayerMtDemo.