Mt. Charleston Rescue & Snow in May

Monday, May 24, 2010
Yesterday, the Mountain Rescue Team responded to a report of two stranded hikers located somewhere near the peak of Mt. Charleston, which lies nearly 12,000 ft above sea level. During the Winter months, Mt. Charleston and its surrounding areas experience normal Winter conditions, including plenty of snow. However, most people don't believe that it can snow near Las Vegas in May.

The two hikers who were rescued yesterday began their day with the objective of reaching the Summit. By the end of the day, a storm had come in, ultimately disorienting them. They were able to get cell phone reception and called EMS for help.

Rescuers who responded to the call were prepared to hike in, which would have taken 3-4 hours. However, a break in the weather enabled Air Support to utilize the Huey to conduct the rescue. As a result, the stranded hikers were retrieved from the mountain and horrible weather conditions in under an hour. The hikers were wearing shorts and tennis shoes and hadn't anticipated the Winter-like conditions.

This type of story has been told countless times. Hikers who predict a gorgeous day end up finding themselves in a precarious position. Who would've thought that they'd find themselves in 3 feet of snow in Las Vegas in May?

Before heading out on any type of hike, LVMPDSAR suggests the following:

  • Familiarize yourself with the area that you'll be hiking in by studying and carrying along maps
  • Let others know where you'll be hiking along with estimated departure and arrival times
  • Check the weather forecast before your departure
  • Take along plenty of water and food
  • Carry extra clothes
  • Prepare for the worst
The rescue on Mt. Charleston was featured on Channel 13 News.