Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Frank Underlin helps guide the pilot into the landing zone at the Mil Potrero "Y" Monday morning, as two lost hikers are brought down from Mt. Pi?os after a night in sub-freezing temperatures.
By Gary Meyer
FRAZIER PARK; March 31, 10:15 a.m. — Victor Herrera of San Clemente and Greg Kimura of Simi Valley sent a text message to family members at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning, from the Mil Potrero "Y" saying they could see snow on the mountain and were heading out on foot to reach the Mt. Piños summit.
Herrera threw his cell phone back in the car and the pair struck out—dressed in shorts and sweatshirts—on their adventure via McGill Trail. They intended to be back at their vehicle before nightfall.
They reached the summit at approximately 3:30 p.m. and started back down, but, according to Kimura, "We took a wrong turn on the way back and got lost."
"We saw the helicopter last night and their search light barely missed us," Herrera said in an interview Monday morning after being dropped at the "Y" in a Ventura County Sheriff’s helicopter. "We grabbed a whole bunch of bushes and covered ourselves with them…and spooned." Both men laughed.
Ventura County Search and Rescue Coordinator Sgt. Frank Underlin said they were unable to locate the two from the air in the dark hours of Monday morning, but in daylight spotted two men waving their arms at the helicopter shortly after 9 a.m. Temperatures on Mt. Piños were in the twenties Sunday night and early Monday morning.
"We spotted them in Seymore Canyon on the south slope of the mountain," Underlin told The Mountain Enterprise before lifting off from the Kern County Search and Rescue command post at the "Y."
This is part of the March 28, 2008 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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