Hiker rescued after being injured in Mt. Baldy avalanche; officials urge caution

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A hiker was injured and had to be rescued by emergency crews after an avalanche on Mt. Baldy on March 13, 2021. (West Valley Search and Rescue)

A hiker was injured and had to be rescued by emergency crews after an avalanche on Mt. Baldy on March 13, 2021. (West Valley Search and Rescue)

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Fellow hikers and search teams helped rescue a hiker who was injured in a Mt. Baldy avalanche on Saturday, officials reported.

Six hikers were hiking up Baldy Bowl Saturday morning when an avalanche occurred, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department reported. The group of hikers was able to provide first-aid to stop the bleeding the injured hiker suffered and called 911, according to a Facebook post by the West Valley Search and Rescue.

The injured hiker was located in the Baldy Bowl, about 400 feet above Sierra Hut at about an elevation of 8,500 feet. Officials described the injured hiker’s location as remote and only accessible by helicopter or hiking.

“The San Bernardino Sheriff’s department attempted to hoist the subject, but due to the weather, a hoist was too dangerous,” officials said in the Facebook post. The Sheriff’s Department called in the West Valley Search and Rescue (WVSAR), its volunteer rescue team for that area, to help with the injured hiker.

WVSAR teams attempted to drive up Falls Road to the Baldy Bowl Trail head, but the road was covered in snow so the teams parked at Manker Flats and started assembling their gear for a carry out which included crampons, ice ax and snow shoes based on information they received from the hikers about the trail conditions.

Rope, snow pickets and other technical gear were also packed because the hiker’s original location placed them on a slope 400 feet above the trail.

“Prior to leaving, hikers indicated the injured hiker was with a large group of other hikers that were helping him hike down the trail,” officials said. “The injured hiker was at the San Antonio waterfall overlook (0.5 miles from Manker Flats parking lot) when SAR members reached him.”

Additional emergency services, including the Mt. Baldy Fire Department, were waiting at Manker Flats to evaluate and assist with the hiker’s injuries.

The extent of the hiker’s injuries was unknown, but the Sheriff’s Department urged other hikers to take precautions before venturing off.

“We understand accidents happen even with the most experienced mountaineer/hiker,” WVSAR said in its Facebook post. “We still urge the public to please have avalanche awareness training before traversing in high risk snow covered areas. Rapidly changing weather conditions add to the dangers in places such as the Baldy Bowl area.”

No other information was released.

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