Eight missing members of a UCLA hiking club were found by a search team early Sunday morning in the frigid San Gabriel Mountains and escorted to safety on foot, authorities said.
A 911 caller about 8 p.m. Saturday reported the group had become lost near Throop Peak (map), said Lt. Bill Jaeger of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The hikers, who were at an elevation of about 8,200 feet, had apparently made a cellphone call to a person located farther down the mountain, Jaeger said.
Sheriff's search and rescue teams from the San Dimas, Crescenta Valley and Palmdale stations responded to the mountain area, where conditions were snowy and icy, according to a news release.
The searchers made their way through thigh-deep snow drifts before the Crescenta Valley team found the missing hikers, some of whom were mildly hypothermic, about 12:30 a.m., the release said.
"To prevent the students from falling, the rescue team placed harnesses and ropes on them to safely lower them down icy slopes," the statement said.
Due to the hazardous conditions, the walk out of the forest lasted about six hours, the Sheriff's Department said.
The hikers were then taken back to their cars. None of them required medical attention.