Inexperienced hikers found in Desolation Wilderness |

Inexperienced hikers found in Desolation Wilderness

A Texas woman was the focus of a large search and rescue operation Thursday, after she became separated from her hiking companion in Desolation Wilderness.

On Wednesday morning Karthryne Kristof, 41, of Austin, and Mike McCalister of Rancho Cordova entered the wilderness area. El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Mazzoni said the two were leapfrogging on the trail with McCalister ranging ahead.

In the area between Velma Lakes and the Rubicon Reservoir the hikers separated. McCalister told deputies that he searched the area for about five hours before hiking out for help around 8 p.m.

After a fruitless search Wednesday night, the search expanded Thursday morning to 30 volunteers including both foot and horse teams, and two aircraft. At 1:15 p.m. the California National Guard helicopter spotted Kristof near the Rubicon Reservoir area. Kristof and McCalister told rescuers that flooded and damaged trails led to their separation.

Kristof had camping supplies to make it through the night, but was running low on food when she was found, Mazzoni said.

On the north side of the lake a Washington D.C. woman got lost while hiking in Squaw Valley. Martha Peredo, 34, left alone for a hike around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, telling friends she would return by 7:30 p.m. Peredo’s friends notified the Placer County Sheriff’s Department around 11:30 p.m.

Squaw Valley Security found Peredo around 6:40 a.m. Friday in a rest room at High Camp. Deputies said Peredo was unprepared for a high altitude hike, and was wearing only a T-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes. She didn’t bring any food or water. Besides being tired and hungry Peredo was not injured, police said.

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