Two hikers were rescued from the side of Mt. Baldy after their hiking gear failed, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
The hikers, a 17-year-old and a 29-year-old, were hiking along Cucamonga Peak Trail from Ice House Saddle, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The trail is about 7,600 feet high.
During their hike through the snow and ice, their equipment failed and they slid down the icy side of the mountain. Neither hiker was injured, but they opted to stay put and await rescue rather than battle exhaustion and the elements to get back on track.
Dispatchers received a 911 call from the 29-year-old, and a Sheriff’s Department helicopter was deployed to the scene.
A rescuer was lowered down to the hikers to help them move to a safer location where they could be hoisted out by helicopter.
Both hikers were eventually loaded into harnesses and removed from the mountain side.
“Hikers are encouraged to ensure their equipment is properly fitted and they are properly trained to use it,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. “Hikers are also encouraged to always stay on marked and well established paths and trails.”
Mt. Baldy has been the site of several high-profile rescues and disappearances in recent weeks.
The body of Robert Gregory was recovered over the weekend. Gregory, who lived in Hawthorne, was reported missing on Jan. 14, just days before his 62nd birthday. His body was found Saturday buried in snow, about 300 feet below the summit of Mt. Islip.
Actor Julian Sands has been missing since Jan. 19. Search and Rescue teams deployed to Mt. Baldy when able to continue the search, although dangerous weather conditions have hampered the search at times.
Sands, 65, was reported missing by a friend and was believed to be somewhere along the Baldy Bowl Trail, a popular hike adjacent to Mt. Baldy.
A third man reported missing in January, 75-year-old Jin Chung, from North Hollywood, was found alive on the mountain. Officials said he suffered a leg injury and some “weather-related” injuries but was responsive and transported to a hospital for treatment.
A female hiker died in early January after she fell more than 500 feet down the side of the mountain.
Those looking to brave Mt. Baldy, or any of California’s most treacherous peaks, are urged to be fully prepared for disaster to strike. Hikers should wear high-visibility clothing, carry a rescue beacon and a fully charged phone and keep loved ones informed of their travel plans and itinerary.
Most importantly, hikers are urged not to try to tackle a trail that is beyond their skill level.