Missing hikers found alive near Big Bear

SAN DIEGO — Three San Diego men who set out on a day hike in the San Bernardino Mountains over the weekend and never returned were found alive Tuesday, officials said.


Ryan Shankles, David Yoder, Miguel De La Torre

Ryan Shankles, and Miguel DeLatorre from Oceanside, and David Yoder from Carlsbad, were spotted in the area of Northfork Meadows, close to Mineshaft Campground at about 10:15 a.m. by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s patrol helicopter, according to a statement released by the department.

The men were flown by helicopter to the search command post, where they were examined by medical personnel and reunited with their families, Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said. All three men appeared to be in good condition despite having spent three nights in the mountains without camping gear.  Temperatures fell into the 20s at night, Miller said.

The men had some cuts and scrapes, and one of them apparently had been on the verge of hypothermia, but they otherwise were healthy and did not require hospitalization, officials said. They told news crews they had huddled together at night to stay warm.

The men were reported missing from the Fish Creek trail about 7:15 a.m. Sunday, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

A friend, who started the hike but turned back, told deputies they spent Friday night at the Heart Bar Campground. On Saturday, the group drove to the trailhead with the intent to hike up 11,503-foot Mount San Gorgonio, the highest peak in Southern California.

Search teams, including a helicopter crew, failed to find any sign of the three Sunday, and the search resumed on Monday, authorities said.

The three hikers told rescuers that they were coming down from the summit Mount San Gorgonio Saturday when they came across an icy portion of the trail, Miller said. They got lost when they left the trail to find a way around the ice, she said.

The hikers had food and water, but they were dressed in shorts and had only light jackets with them for a day hike, Miller said.