Hiker rescued from California mountains after paralyzing bite


A hiker paralyzed by a bite in California's Sierra Nevada mountains last week was safely rescued after she was able to relay her location just before her phone died, officials said.

The woman had taken the Taboose Pass out of the Sierra Nevada's John Muir Trail after encountering too much snow, and while fetching water from a creek she was bitten by what she thought was a spider, Inyo County Search & Rescue officials said in a social media post.

"Afterwards, she was unable to feel the skin on her legs and could not continue her hike down," rescue officials said. The hiker, who authorities did not identify, managed to call in and relay her coordinates to rescue officials around 6:30 p.m. before her phone battery died.

The county's search and rescue team arrived at the trailhead just before midnight and "slowly walked her down the tricky section of the trail while ensuring her safety with ropes," before transferring her into a wheeled litter the team had stashed in a more stable area of the trail, about a quarter mile away from her location, officials said.

 / Credit: Inyo County Search & Rescue via Facebook
/ Credit: Inyo County Search & Rescue via Facebook

Officials did not give any details about the woman's condition.

"About half of the emergency calls that SAR receives come from a person with a dying phone battery," the department said, urging hikers to carry power banks for phones or satellite messaging devices.

"While we're talking about Taboose Pass trail, we'd like to remind everyone that Taboose, Sawmill, Baxter, and Shepherd Pass Trails are a lot less maintained as the rest of the trails in the Sierra," the department added. "You might encounter very tricky sections and route finding issues – not to mention very steep grades."

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