Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Missing Hiker Found After Being Lost in Mountains For 10 Days

A California hiker spent ten days in the Santa Cruz wilderness after becoming lost in the mountains.

Lukas McClish, 34, left for what was supposed to be a three-hour hike on June 11. Due to recent wildfires, however, several local landmarks were destroyed and he became lost.

He was officially reported missing by his family on June 16, after he didn’t show up for a Family’s Day dinner. Search and rescue efforts were immediately launched.

According to McClish, who spoke to a local news station after being rescued, he didn’t bring anything with him other than a pair of ‘folding scissors’ and a flashlight as he thought he would only be away for three hours.

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McClish was reported missing after he did not show for a Father’s Day dinner on June 16

He told the news station that he did not tell anyone of his plans and had started his hike on the morning of June 11.

After losing his bearings, he spent much of his time traveling between canyons and sitting by waterfalls, where he was able to collect drinking water using his boot. He also collected and ate wild berries.

At one point, he was also followed by a mountain lion. However, the animal kept a distance and did not appear to see him as a threat.

McClish said he would sleep on a bed of leaves at night and yell for help every now and then while thinking about what to eat for his next meal. He also said he had a constant craving for a taco bowl and burrito during the first few days of his ordeal.

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Search and rescue teams immediately went to the area after he was reported missing

However, he said he wasn’t worried ‘the whole time [he] was there’ and felt that someone was ‘watching over [him].’

As for his family, they had determined something was wrong after there was no sign of him on Father’s day. They subsequently went to the local sheriff’s office to make a missing person’s report. Dozens of first responders and law enforcement officers subsequently mounted a search for McClish around the Boulder Creek area.

Diane, McClish’s mother, said she just had to ‘trust God that he was going to be okay’.

For six days, the Boulder creek area saw temperatures over 80F, with it going as high as 98F on June 11.

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McClish was rescued after spending 10 days in the Santa Cruz mountains

According to the sheriff’s office, search and rescue teams eventually heard the 34-year-old’s yells for help and launched several drones to locate him in a densely wooded area.

After determining his location, first responders were able to get to where he was using off-road vehicles. McClish was then reunited with his family.

McClish suffered no injuries during his 10-day ordeal and was able to survive by staying hydrated and eating wild berries. While he was disoriented for the most parts, the local fire department chief lauded his remarkable resourcefulness and described him as a ‘tough individual.’

His mother is grateful for everyone who was involved in his rescue – not just the first responders, but also for the community, who rallied around her after it was announced that her son was missing.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.
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