‘Don’t Leave Your Partner,’ Lost Hiker Says Following ‘Terrible’ Night in Angeles National Forest

A woman who spent a "terrible" night in the Angeles National Forest warned hikers to stay in pairs and remain with their partner after she was rescued from the Angeles National Forrest Tuesday morning.

The 57-year-old woman, identified as Laura Andrews, was reported missing by her son about 11:45 p.m. Monday several hours after the two became separated on their way to the Bear Canyon Trail Camp, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Chad Smeltzer said.

Attempts to contact Andrews on her cellphone were unsuccessful, Smeltzer said.

Andrews was planning to spend the night outdoors with her son and was believed to have food and a sleeping bag with her.

A Montrose search and rescue team was scouring the Switzer and Oakwilde areas early Tuesday morning when they discovered the missing hiker at about 3:15 a.m.

She was cold and weak but otherwise OK, according to officials.

“It was terrible. I was sleeping over a rock with a towel over me. ... I was freezing,” Andrews said.

Andrews was airlifted to the Switzer picnic area by a Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter once the morning fog lifted.

Emergency crews said she was a little dehydrated but did not require any medical attention.

After being reunited with her son, Andrews offered some advise to future hikers. “Don’t leave your partner, hike in twos," she said.

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