Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, January 15 , 2019, 6:12 pm | Light Rain 54º

 
 
 
 

Three UCSB Students Rescued from Cliff Below Cathedral Peak

County Search and Rescue Team uses technical expertise to save the stranded hikers

The Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue Team rescued three UCSB students over the weekend who became stranded while hiking on a cliff below Cathedral Peak.

Sheriff’s department spokesman Drew Sugars said the male hikers departed about noon Saturday from the top of Tunnel Road to hike up a technically difficult trail to Cathedral Peak, located below La Cumbre Peak.

They reached Cathedral Peak after 3 p.m., then started to hike back down the mountain. But the hikers missed a key turn amid heavy fog and wandered off the trail down toward Inspiration Point, requiring them to climb down vertical cliffs, Sugars said.

At one point, the hikers slid down a 50-foot chute between the cliffs and then could go no farther because of the drop-off below them and lack of light after sunset. The hikers had cellular reception and called 9-1-1.

Sugars said that members of the Santa Barbara County sheriff’s all-volunteer Search and Rescue Team’s Mountain Rescue Unit used the GPS coordinates from the hikers’ cell phone to locate and assist the stranded hikers.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Copter 2 also was deployed to aid in the search. The team used night-vision equipment to pinpoint the glow from the hikers’ cell phone and to direct the ground SAR units up the recently burned mountains. The fog and steepness of the cliffs prevented the possibility of utilizing helicopter hoists.

After five hours of climbing up steep mountains and cliffs, a three-member SAR team traversed along a cliff ledge to about 50 feet below the hikers. One of the rescuers then climbed up the small ledge to the hikers, who were given food, water and clothing to help get warm, Sugars said.

The rescuers set up rope anchors and rigged improvised harnesses to lower each of the three hikers down the cliff in an operation that took nearly 90 minutes. The hikers were then helped down the mountain and back to their car on Tunnel Road. 

SBCSAR Team President Jennifer Beyer praised the hikers and SAR team members for the positive outcome of this incident.

“As a mountain rescue team, this is what we trained for and can provide to the citizens of our community that no other organization can,” she said.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.