A City College student out for his first hike in the Santa Barbara foothills Friday afternoon tripped and went over the side of a trail near Mission Ridge and slid 150 feet down a cliff, according to a March 25 Sheriff’s press release. The Search and Rescue team and Copter 2 scrambled to locate the 20-year-old, who thought he was near Inspiration Point, through GPS and cell phone conversations. SAR found him, with the help of nearby hikers, to the east of his presumed location. The Technical Rescue Team rappelled two of its members down to the young man, hiking with him to SAR vehicles at the Edison Catway by approximately 7:30 p.m. By then the wind was gusting at the ridge, and the helicopter was back at base.
SAR team member Kevin Hess noted the trail along Mission Ridge was not optimal, though visible, and the rocky, gravely surface made it easy to lose one’s footing. SAR, an all-volunteer group, has responded to 10 calls in the past seven days of lost hikers, falls, missing persons, and a vehicle over the side of the road, Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover said.