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Hiking Harney Peak - South Dakota, United States

by aaronball  
with a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx
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A couple of the guys in my field geology course and I hiked Harney Peak during our day off. We took some photos and ate lunch at the top. We could see a thunderstorm building on the horizon quickly moving our way. Just after lunch we headed back down the mountain so we could beat the storm.

On our way down we ran into a retired couple. The husband was sitting on a log beside the trail. His wife was on the phone and making signals with her hand to halt. She informed us she was on the phone with 911. They were about a quarter mile from the summit. The husband started speaking jibberish and feeling light-headed.

The storm was eminent. With nothing more than smiles, one bottle of water and a digital camera they were ill prepared for the approaching storm.  We decided to wait it out with them. We gave the couple our rain jackets and pants. We didn't want his situation to get worse by being cold and wet. Then the rains fell.

The paramedics came after about an hour and a half. A first responder was the first one up the mountain (I swear he ran all the way up). He said an team was on their way up with an ATV and litter to extract the couple. The woman was disappointed, she thought they would send in a helicopter. Once the first responder arrived he gave them rain gear and we got ours back.

On our descent down the trail, we ran into the extraction team. The litter was on a trailer behind the ATV. The ruggedness of the wilderness trail I am sure made the ride down uncomfortable. Especially since the couple was expecting a helicopter. 
Bring rain gear and a fleece jacket in your day pack. Even if the weather looks nice.
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Trip Info
June 12, 2011
Trip Location: Kennedyville, South Dakota, United States
Length: 12.1 miles
Duration: 2 hours
Activity: Hiking
Trip viewed 5,046 times
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