Hiking Accident Prevention: Death Valley Extreme Heat Kills Tourist Family


S T O R I E S  P A S T  A N D  P R E S E N T

Insufficient Trail Planning Killed A Family of Four German Tourists In Death Valley National Park 1996

A family of four German tourists disappeared in July of 1996 in California’s Death Valley.

Several years later their remains were found, leading researchers to believe that they died of heat exposure.  

Insufficient preparation, poor decision-making, and dangerous terrain, led to the death of Egbert Rimkus 34, Egbert’s girlfriend, Cornelia Meyer 27, and two children, 4 year old Max Meyer and 11 year old Georg Weber. 

The couple drove a rented a vehicle nearly 200 miles over rugged terrain, causing three tires to blow out.  

After their disappearance, a four month search and rescue mission turned up their vehicle, and no further clues.  

During the following 13 years, what happened to them remained a mystery, until two hikers, Tom Mahood and Les Walker, discovered adult skeletal remains, along with identification, indicating that they left the car behind, and decided to hike.

O N L I N E  N E W S  S O U R C E S

NBC News.com, 11/13/09 – Death Valley Bones Linked To German Tourists

LATimes.com 11/14/09 – California: Bones May Solve Mystery: Death Valley Hikers Find What May Be Tourists’ Remains

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Trip Planning Resources For Hikers and Backpackers

Irene Pastore, is a Certified Personal Trainer, fitness blogger, health educator, and speaker. She has 23 years experience teaching exercise in New York City.  For her complete bio, visit the About Page.  

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