Female Hiker stepped off trail to take Photo

March 18th. DO: Rick took initial call and transferred with Aimee so he could respond. IB at the Acoma/Zuni trail head in the El Malpais area. Female subject departed on day hike, stepped off the trail to take a picture, was unable to relocate the trail, and became lost.   Subject became lost on Sunday and was able to get a cell phone call out to the Park Service. Park Service sent two people out Sunday night and hiked for 12miles looking. 2nd operations period Monday, a slightly larger group of park service and local fire looked but didn’t find her. ASAR was called on Monday night and 3rd operations period started Tuesday morning.

Subject reported to IB via cell phone that Civil Air Patrol had flown over. The cell phone was a prepaid phone without data so she could not get coordinates from the phone. The phone eventually ran out of minutes. IB added minutes to the plan some time later.  Regional District Manager, Tony, sent info via text system. ASAR responded with Maria, Rob, Steve, Karl, Rick. Departed Santa Fe at 5:00am Tuesday. Joint command from Park Service and SAR. IB was somewhat chaotic. 45-year-old Air Force vet mechanic. Had good survival skills and took care of herself overnight but had left food and water in the car. Gray hoodie had poor contrast against the El Malpais rocks. 3rd op period when found. Good interaction between PS and SAR. A total of 11 teams were deployed on Tuesday. Dispatch received a phone call at 11:30am from subject stating she could see a building. IB determined she was near NM117 south of teams. An IB member had returned to Albuquerque to buy maps and found subject on NM117 road returning from ABQ.

Karl ran communications relay again. Noted that too many frequencies were in use and communications were generally poor. Rick notes that due to abnormal geomagnetic flux, map and compass in El Malpais is impossible. Gaia, however, still works. ASAR team drove 40miles from NM 53 to NM 117. Started on Acoma trail for 1 mile, then received the stand down. Black Hawk and fixed wing aircrafts searching. The Park Service did great debrief. El Malpais is rugged AF.