A 28-year-old man was missing for two days after he abandoned his campsite shoeless on Saturday when he got into an argument with his camping group. He hiked several miles from the Sand Flat campground until he reached the Mt. Shasta Ski Park, where he took refuge in one of the ski park’s buildings.
Ski park employees found Tayde Rafael Tovar-Mendoza of Santa Nella in that building Monday morning, ending a search and rescue mission that included multiple agencies, climbing rangers and helicopter searches. The reason he stormed off from his campsite? Because the group he was with had ingested hallucinogens.
“An investigation revealed a group were camping at the Sand Flat campground when some in the group allegedly engaged in the use of a hallucinogen-type product that prompted the missing man to flee the area due to safety concerns,” the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
It was a happy ending to an otherwise bizarre episode. In wake of the incident, officials were prompted to remind the public the dangers of ingesting hallucinogens in the wilderness. Deputy Mike Burns, the search-and-rescue coordinator for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, offered this advice:
“While we are pleased this rescue had a happy ending, the wilderness area can be hazardous and legal or illegal substances that impair judgment, behavior, balance, and coordination should be avoided.”