New Yorker Lost in Desolation Wilderness Overnight is Found by SAR Volunteers
On Sunday evening (09/30/2012) just after 6:00 PM the Sheriff’s Office received a call from a man advising that he and another man had gone on a day hike into Desolation Wilderness along with two female friends. They parked their vehicle at the Echo Lakes Lodge and had planned on hiking to Lake Aloha and then to Lake of the Woods and then back to their vehicle.At Lake of the Woods the hikers voluntarily separated with the intent of meeting back at their vehicle however, Chris Major, a 38 year old man from Brooklyn, New York did not show up at the vehicle as expected. Major was last seen near Lake of the Woods about 3:30 PM. The three other hikers arrived back at the vehicle before it became dark and waited for Major. As darkness approached they became worried when Major did not show up.
Deputies responded and evaluated the circumstances and decided to notify Volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR)personnel to prepare for a search of the area in the morning. Patrol personnel continually checked the roadways surrounding the area in case Major walked out during the night.
On Monday morning Major was still missing. Volunteer Search and Rescue personnel responded to the area. Foot teams and a CHP helicopter were used to search the Desolation area. About 9:20 AM the Sheriff”s Office received information that a text message was sent to Majors friend advising that he was with other unknown hikers still in the desolation area. About 30 minutes later the Sheriff's Office received information from Major (via a cellular call Major made to his friend). Through cellular phone calls Search and Rescue personnel were able to speak directly with Major and determine his location. At 10:37 AM SAR volunteers met Major in the back country and assisted him in walking out. Around 11:30 AM all parties arrived at the Echo Lakes Lodge where a command post for the search had been established.
Major had several minor cuts and abrasions from climbing through brush and over rocks. He declined any medical treatment. Major told SAR personnel that he had started a small fire to keep himself warm through the night and then came across the other unknown hikers in the morning. He was then able to use a cellular phone to contact his friend.