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How a Palo Alto mother survived 48 freezing hours, lost in the Sierras

Original post made on Oct 24, 2021

During her 48 hours lost and alone somewhere in the Sierra National Forest, Jolly Bose faced temperatures so low her breath crystalized as soon as it left her mouth. Yet, even as she awaited rescue, she never lost her composure.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, October 23, 2021, 7:58 PM

Comments (3)

Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2021 at 9:23 am

Citizen is a registered user.

What an inspiring story. Glad you were okay in spite of mistakes, and sharing those mistakes with others can help them avoid them. This could have been a tragedy and sharing what you did right can also help.

One really important thing you can do and share with others is get a hikers’/elevation map and learn how to use them. A simple hikers’ paper map of the area and a small compass would have added negligible weight but prevented you from getting lost. I say this as the relative of mountain climbing guides and alpine hikers.

Rescues like this have been on the rise as people have become more bold / rely more just on their cellphones which can be a problem, particularly in light of the many unexpected ways one’s battery can be suddenly drained even if the phone is on battery saver mode. The phones add fantastic new capability but they should augment rather than replace traditional wilderness practices like using paper trail maps and compasses. A paper map doesn’t have to be tended to or charged at the last minute so it’s also less prone to last-minute planning errors.

Here’s one of many articles about how over reliance on cell phones is contributing to more need for search and rescue.
Web Link

Thankfully you were otherwise fairly prepared although still only for a day hike, incl not enough food or water. Space blankets are also light emergency equipment that could help someone unable to find shelter.


Posted by TimR
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2021 at 3:02 pm

TimR is a registered user.

There's a saying on the bottom of nautical charts, “The Prudent Mariner will not rely solely on any single aid to navigation," and maybe hikers/backpackers should adopt this as well. I LOVE my smartphone for planning and navigating in the backcountry, but I do always try to carry a paper map and compass, that I've studied beforehand (an important step--looking at the map for the first time when you're lost might not help so much).

That said, I learned a lot from this story, and I'm glad it went over the details of how things went wrong. Things can just happen out there sometimes, and we do learn from others' wilderness mistakes, and how they handled them.


Posted by Disabled Resident
a resident of Mayfield
on Nov 5, 2021 at 7:07 pm

Disabled Resident is a registered user.

This is an awesome story. I hope Jolly will write a book about this, not only about her "getting lost" story but the backstory that led her to becoming a peakbagger.. I kept hearing "Climb Every Mountain" from The Sound Of Music in my head while reading this. Both are stories of triumphant success that seem larger because almost anyone can identify with obstacles and knowing it's possible to overcome them can inspire others.


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