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A lost Palo Alto couple. A 'miraculous' rescue. Here's what happened to Ian Irwin and Carol Kiparsky.

Original post made on Dec 4, 2020

In their first interview since their rescue in February, Palo Alto residents Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin describe how their Valentine's Day hike turned into a nine-day walkabout and a fight for their very survival.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 4, 2020, 6:58 AM

Comments (14)

Posted by Juan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Dec 4, 2020 at 7:19 am

Juan is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by theAlex
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 4, 2020 at 7:23 am

theAlex is a registered user.

Welcome back guys! Thanks for letting us in on your powerful story.
I remember the relief I felt when I heard you made it out alive and well. I only wish that you had broken into one of those summer homes you came across, but that's hindsight...


Posted by CC
a resident of University South
on Dec 4, 2020 at 10:15 am

CC is a registered user.

I’ve never been so happy as I was when I got the call you both were found, alive.

I had had conversations with our neighbors and your son about planning a celebration of life service. That quickly turned to planning a really different and much happier party. But alas. Covid. No parties allowed.

But don’t think for a minute, that your neighbors won’t be planning a big party once we’re able.

Love you guys so much. ❤️❤️❤️


Posted by jr1
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 4, 2020 at 10:48 am

jr1 is a registered user.

I'm thrilled they were found and doing well, but using a little common sense walks are fine but do them around Palo Alto.


Posted by VS
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 4, 2020 at 11:37 am

VS is a registered user.

I love that you walked away with such a wonderful perspective on shared humanity that crosses time and boundaries. Clearly, your love for each other pulled you through...that along with your own ingenuity and some very dedicated rescuers.


Posted by Educator
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 4, 2020 at 12:04 pm

Educator is a registered user.

Such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. My family does not know them, but we were following their story and hoping for the best.


Posted by Green Gables
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 4, 2020 at 1:31 pm

Green Gables is a registered user.

Always take your cellphone no matter if you are going for a small walk in Palo Alto or hiking up Mt. Shasta.


Posted by Spectator at Large
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2020 at 1:58 pm

Spectator at Large is a registered user.

Glad to hear more details of the story. I think this is a reminder of how quickly darkness sets in. Can’t imagine how you got 4 miles away! Pack yourself a small bag to take out each time with essentials assuming that you may need something on any hike. We were wondering how you got so disoriented. I still don’t know the answer based on the story. I am amazed that a tracking dog was not able to find you. Probably they can’t hold the scent through “Brillo” like brush.


Posted by Irene
a resident of another community
on Dec 4, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Irene is a registered user.

Sue - Congrats on a wonderful story with a very happy ending.


Posted by maryakatiff
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 4, 2020 at 6:35 pm

maryakatiff is a registered user.

Thank you for sharing this story. I teach a class at De Anza College, EWRT 2, which is advanced composition and reading. The theme of my class for several years as been Wilderness, including literary/filmic narratives of harrowing journeys into the wild that resulted in triumph, chaos or death. Students have responded to the films, books, and articles with great interest. These are important stories that bind us together with other humans, with animals, and with the earth. I am so grateful to hear your tale of survival, and appreciate the message of unity and appreciation for nature that extends from it.


Posted by Squidsie
a resident of another community
on Dec 4, 2020 at 9:26 pm

Squidsie is a registered user.

I do search and rescue for another county, and can tell you that this sort of outcome is why we do it. The searchers should be immensely proud of their successful search. Too often, they are far sadder. Kudos to Marin SAR and CARDA. and a "good boy!" to Groot.


Posted by Amy
a resident of University South
on Dec 5, 2020 at 9:21 pm

Amy is a registered user.

I'm crying happy tears all over again.


Posted by Scott
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 12, 2020 at 1:56 pm

Scott is a registered user.

I was very happy when these guys were found--but to this day don't understand how they got lost. I'm a hiker, and am familiar with the area where they got lost...it is hardly "wilderness." It is bounded by Sir Francis Drake on one side, Pierce Pt. Road on another, Tomales Bay to the east, and a small road called "Shallow Beach" on the other. They might have been 4 miles from their rental cottage (I have to question this), but the farthest you can be away from any of the boundaries of that area is about a half mile. Note that they could hear "voices" the morning after their first night.....I simply don't understand how they could not, after their first night, have found a way out.


Posted by Rob Roberts
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 25, 2020 at 6:40 am

Rob Roberts is a registered user.

Sister Barb just sent this. Major congrats on the survival of two wonderful and valuable people. Made my Christmas. (Re neighborhoods--I live in Florida)
Rob Roberts


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