In early January, a 32-year-old Canadian man texted a friend indicating that he had gotten injured while solo hiking the Lost Coast Trail along the Northern California coast. Following a massive search and rescue mission, which was constantly hampered by high-tides and poor weather, family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of Rick Raymond Eastep on Sunday.
“They discovered where he probably fell down on the trail,” his aunt Sharon Grose told CTV Kitchener. “It was near water and it’s assumed that he was swept away.”
Officials searched over 26 miles of rugged water and coastline and 16 miles of wilderness trails looking for the hiker. His backpack and supplies were located along a trail and officials believe he may have fell down an embankment. With massive waves slamming the coastline, search and rescue missions were forced to call it quits.
“The search and rescue people worked really, really hard and through some pretty extreme weather to try and find Rick,” says Grose. “There were 40 to 50 foot waves. They had helicopters, they had boats, they had search and rescue teams. They had people close their businesses so they could go out and help look for Rick.”
Eastep was a passionate outdoor adventurer who had hiked through through B.C., the Yukon, Cape Breton Island, Algonquin Park and Norway.
The Lost Coast Trail is one of the most rugged and difficult hikes in the United States. With over 100 miles of unadulterated beaches, it can be treacherous for even the most experienced hikers. With bad weather and high tides, it can be very dangerous.