By David Rogers. February 10, 2019. BLOWING ROCK, NC — He’s not out of the woods yet, so to speak, but a missing hiker from Charlotte who wandered off of the China Creek Trail below Mayview — and missing since Saturday — was found alive and uninjured approximately 11:30 am on Sunday.
Because of the rugged terrain and adverse weather conditions, extraction by helicopter is not possible, so fire & rescue personnel are guiding Frank
Multiple agencies from at least three counties — Watauga, Caldwell, and Avery — responded to the emergency call for help in a search that began at 6:36 pm on Saturday.
Among the responding agencies are Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue, Blowing Rock Police Department, Caldwell Emergency Management, Caldwell Administration, Collettsville Fire & Rescue, Granite Falls Fire & Rescue, Linville Rescue, Boone Police, and the U.S. Park Ranger. Linville Rescue
Sgt. Shane Robbins of Boone Police is serving as public information officer (PIO) for what has been dubbed by rescuers as the “China Creek Search.” He advised Blowing Rock News on Sunday afternoon during the extraction was taking place that
According to Robbins, while the main body of rescuers assembled near the Laurel Lane trailhead, other emergency personnel started up the China Creek Trail searching from its intersection with Globe Road far below Blowing Rock. Still other rescuers were inserted, Robbins said, at different points in-between.
A “hasty team” of emergency personnel that included members of the Blowing Rock Fire Department and Blowing Rock Police Department, as well as possible representatives from Caldwell County-based emergency service agencies, inserted themselves into the search area through the Mayview Condominiums development, the former site of the historic Mayview Manor. Robbins believed that it was this team that made initial contact with Sanady, who had wandered well off the trail. “They made voice contact,” Robbins reported.
AllTrails.com, a San Francisco, California-based company that provides more than 10 million outdoors enthusiasts with tools and information needed for hiking and other outdoor adventures, describes China Creek Trail as “…a 3-mile, moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Blowing Rock, NC, that features a great forest setting. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and trail running. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.”
A variation of the hike shown by another Web-facilitated service, HikingProject.com, suggests that the China Creek Trail can be integrated with the Thunderhole Trail and a short stretch alongside U.S. 221 to form a
Robbins was unable to provide an estimate for when the extraction would be completed.
“He was located shortly before lunch (on Sunday),” Robbins explained. “The rescuers first had to get to him, then conduct an examination to determine the man’s medical condition and assess whether he could walk out on his own or if there was a need to carry him out. From the reports we have received, he is in pretty good shape, was fairly well equipped, but obviously tired. Because of the weather and terrain, we cannot bring him out by helicopter so they will be walking out. The shortest route, maybe three-quarters of a mile, is to get him back out to the trail and then back up to the Laurel Lane trailhead. But that is a tough climb, especially in these wet conditions. It is probably a mile and a half to two miles down to Globe Rd., so a longer path, but you get to let gravity do some of the work because it is mostly downhill.
“We are all very thankful,” Robbins said, “for the rapid response of so many agencies and that this rescue will apparently have a happy ending.”