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Mount Emma, Old Mount Emma, Cole Point

11 March 1989

By: Luella Martin

Leaders: Luella Martin, Gordon Lindberg

"Fasten your Seatbelt", or "The Battle of Old Emma." At 0700 hours thirteen assembled for a routine patrol of Mount Emma, Point 5063, and Cole Point on the Pacifico 7.5 min quad (1959). In this report, Point 5063 will be referred to by its climber's name "Old Emma". Gordon Lindberg was assistant squad leader, he took rear guard duty. I was the squad leader for the day. We convoyed to the base of Mt Emma, then started up what I felt was a reasonable pace. One female recruit was feeling ill, so after a quarter mile, she was sent back to guard the transport vehicles. We signed in on Mount Emma and continued down a jeep trail toward Old Emma. Semi-automatic weapon fire reverberated across the countryside. It sounded like the soundtrack of Rambo. On reaching Old Emma, I found that the easiest route back to the cars was blocked by unknown target practice. Dick Akawie suggested that Wally Henry lead a patrol across country from near the summit of Old Emma back to the road near our cars. Larry Hoak said he would rather do this than walk on the road. The only problem was there was only a low ridge between us and the semiautomatic gunfire, any feeling of safety was shattered when Erich Fickle pointed out that a misfire could go over the ridge. He proved this when he found a spent bullet lodged in the deer trail we were following. Side-hilling got tiresome. Shirley Akawie suggested that we tie her red bandana to a hiking staff and march out through the war zone. Another suggested that we are allowed to loose 10%. I attempted to bring them all back alive, so I continued to side-hill. We finally reached a point where there were two ridges between us and the DMZ so we cut down to the Mount Emma road and walked back to our cars.

The female recruit was missing. After a short food break, I organized a search party. The Akawie's had to leave to go baby sit their grandchild. So they agreed to drive down toward N-3 to see if she was just beyond the ridge toward the highway. I sent Robert Wyka and Richard Ferwell back toward the war zone in a car. Larry Hoak, Wayne Norman, Erich Fickle, and myself retraced our steps looking for a body. We called her name but didn't remember to use a whistle. We got beyond where she had asked to go back and had not located her. Larry Hoak volunteered to run up Emma to see if she got better and decided to solo climb it. I had just decided that what we needed to do was to use a whistle - and she was found. She had been just above the cars resting under a tree and waiting for us. She did not hear us calling out her name. Moral: use a whistle first in a lost person situation.

Tne battle of Old Emma and the search for the missing gal had left me tired. Our missing person had ridden with Wayne Norman, so they signed out after we found her. That left nine for an afternoon patrol of Cole Point. My pace had dropped to slow. Richard Ferwell, Robert Wyka, and Larry Hoak signed out to go at a more rapid pace. The faithful slow climbed Cole Point through tick infested brush in a 2-1/2 hour round trip according to Gordon Lindberg.

All were back at the cars by 1500 hours. My thanks to Dick Akawie for his historical route information, to Erich Fickle for having a whistle, and to the other members of the search party. I am always grateful to Gordon for his assisting and for not complaining when I led him through the brush - he was the only one in shorts.

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