Fresno Bee has a story on two people who were lost in Yosemite recently – one lived, one didn’t.

It’s called the “cascade effect” — a catchy name for the way one mistake leads to another, and a quick explanation for how a hiker who takes one step off an established trail is one step closer to trouble.


Park rangers and search and rescue experts say that hundreds of hikers take that one wrong step each year. The key, they say, is where their next step takes them — back toward the trail or further down a perilous path.


Ron Hoggard of Corcoran became lost two weeks ago after leaving the trail for only a few minutes. When he tried to find the path again, he went the wrong way and spent the next three nights with no food and little water, trying to find help.


Hoggard, 58, had never heard of the cascade effect, but said after he was found that he believes it can happen to anyone.


He also believes he was lucky.


In the case of Ottorrina “Terrina” Bonaventura, the cascade effect led a hiker with decades of experience down a wrong trail, and what should have been a short walk with friends turned deadly.

The thing about getting lost is, you have to be ready for it to happen anywhere. I got stuck in thick fog on Mission Peak one time as sundown approached — I knew pretty much where I was and could figure out where I needed to go, so long as there was daylight. After dark would’ve been another matter. All this in a park I felt I knew by heart.

Gotta tale on the most lost you’ve ever been? Add a comment and see if anybody can top yours.