March 8, 2017
DEATH VALLEY, Calif – Death Valley National Park rangers and California Highway Patrol rescued a stranded visitor in the park’s remote backcountry on Monday. The 27-year-old woman was stranded overnight in winter conditions after her vehicle become stuck in snow. On Sunday, January 22, the 27-year-old woman from New York had been traveling in a rental SUV when she encountered deep snow on Hunter Mountain Road, a gravel road in the northwest part of the park. At about 3:00 p.m., she decided to turn around and head back, but her vehicle became stuck in the snow.
Fortunately, the woman had extra food, water, camping gear, and warm clothing. She spent the night in her car.
The next morning she began hiking up the mountain to get to an area with cell phone service. After hiking in the snow for several hours, she was able to get a 911 call out and relayed valuable information about her situation to dispatchers before the call was dropped.
On the afternoon of January 23, Death Valley National Park received a report, transferred from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, of a woman who was stranded and lost somewhere in the park’s Hunter Mountain area. A park ranger was unable to reach the woman by vehicle due to deep snow and mud.
A helicopter from the California Highway Patrol was requested and they were able to locate the woman’s vehicle shortly before sunset. The helicopter landed on the roadway and picked the woman up. She was transported to Furnace Creek Airport where she was evaluated by National Park Service emergency medical service personnel.
“The supplies the woman had with her in the vehicle helped her survive” said Kevin Ross, emergency services coordinator for Death Valley National Park. “In addition, aside from hiking to call 911, she stayed with her vehicle.” These good choices led to the successful resolution of this situation.