Woman Rescued After Sliding Down Devil’s Backbone Trail, Clinging to Snow Covered Ridge with Ice Ax

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A woman is recovering on Tuesday after losing her footing and sliding down a snow covered trail while hiking near the Mount Baldy Summit, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The 34-year-old victim and her brother were hiking down the Devil's Backbone Trail near the Mount Baldy Summit at the 9200 foot level when she slid 50 feet down a snow covered ridge, officials said.

Dozens of people have managed to slip down this same ridge over the past few years, according to rescue officials.

"It's by no means for the faint of heart, for the rescuers or for the victims themselves," said Eric Sherwin with the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

The woman managed to use her ice ax to prevent her from falling further down the steep ridge while her brother called 911 for help.

A Sheriff's patrol helicopter was dispatched to the location of the victim but needed additional assistance due to the elevation, officials said.

San Bernardino Sheriff and Fire air rescue personnel assessed the situation and determined the woman was trapped in a high-risk area, according to Sheriff officials.

The rescue pilot hovered over the woman while battling high winds with gusts up to 45 mph. The victim was then placed into a harness and hoisted 130 feet to the safety of the helicopter.

She was flown to Cow Canyon Saddle and released to medical personnel.

"Fortunately she was uninjured. She was a little cold from exposure to the elements but she was able to be treated and released by medical personnel on the ground," said Sherwin.

Rescue officials urge hikers to avoid the Devil's Backbone Trail unless they are experts.