KGET 17

An emotional reunion after missing hiker Gab Song was found safe in Lockwood Valley

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Family and friends were elated and emotional when search and rescue crews located Gab Song, a hiker from Southern California who was reported missing from Mount Pinos Tuesday night.

Gab Song was found safely and in good condition in the area of Lockwood Valley on Thursday, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

The 73-year-old went missing after heading out for a hike Tuesday on Mt. Pinos in Fraizer Park.

Search crews and choppers from multiple law enforcement agencies, including Kern County Sheriff’s Office, scoured the Fraizer Park area starting Wednesday morning.

But in the end, it was a civilian in Lockwood Valley that spotted Song, alive, walking and in good condition.

“When they said he’s alive… I literally just started crying,” said Mike Song, Gab Song’s son.

After his ordeal, Gab Song declined to speak on camera.

But he said he survived by lighting fires at night, and after his food ran out Wednesday, by eating snow.

Friends said he is an experienced, in-shape hiker, but a storm late Tuesday surprised him as it covered the mountains in fog and later snow.

Experienced hikers themselves, the group Gab Song treks with said they were grateful to have him back.

“I just heard that he returned safe. What a relief. Good to hear,” said Joong Kwon, one of Gab Song’s hiking buddies.

Even the search and rescue teams were impressed at how Song looked after two days in the wilderness.

“They were all walking out going, he’s a stud. And I was like dang, I guess that’s my pops,” Mike Song said.

But the important part: He’s safe and headed home.

Gab Song’s son Mike thanked search and rescue teams, along with everyone who helped spread the word about his father in an interview with 17 News Thursday morning.