Pasadena Star News

Pasadena Star News
Pasadena man dies in weekend filled with mountain rescues

By Lauren Gold, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/23/2012 06:22:23 PM PST

A Pasadena man died at the scene and two other men were seriously injured Saturday after they fell 500 feet into a ravine near the Angeles Crest Highway at Mile Marker 41.

The three men, all aged between 18 and 20, were among 15 people rescued by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department teams in five different incidents during a 30-hour period between Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening.

"It was just a strange weekend for rescues, to have so many," Sheriff's Deputy Jeffrey A. Gordon said Monday.

The three men, all from Pasadena, reportedly decided to hike down the ravine without any mountaineering or hiking equipment, Mike Parker, spokesman for the Sheriff's Department, said Monday.

After falling, one of the injured men was able to crawl up to the highway and flag down a passer-by for help; the two survivors were airlifted to the hospital with major traumatic injuries, Parker said. Sheriff's officials did not release the dead man's name Monday.

On Sunday, a sheriff's Air-5 rescue crew rescued three South Pasadena teens who had become trapped on a cliff while hiking in Millard Canyon above Altadena. One woman, 19, was trapped 100 feet off the ground and had to be airlifted out of the canyon, Parker said.

Officials said the three teens were on a day hike with one other South Pasadena teenager who was not trapped. A U.S. Forestry recreation technician in the Angeles National Forest reportedly noticed the hikers and called in rescuers at 11:57 a.m.

Earlier, on Saturday evening, two Boy Scouts and their leader, all from Los Angeles, became separated from their group while hiking and were presumed lost in the Mount Wilson area. The group had planned to camp overnight and continue hiking in the morning, and only one decided to leave with the search and rescue team, Parker said.

The air rescue team Sunday also rescued four boys, all from Azusa, who were lost and got stuck on a mountainside while hiking in Azusa Canyon. One boy managed to call 9-1-1 with his cell phone to call in the rescue team, Parker said.

On Sunday evening, a man reported his brother and two others were missing after going on a hike in Eaton Canyon. Rescuers found the three hikers, two men and one woman, all 19, from Cypress, Laguna Niguel and Los Angeles.

The team found the hikers, who had reportedly been drinking and had left the marked trail, and walked them out of the canyon.

Parker said most rescues involve people who leave the marked trail and try to go beyond their abilities.

"There seems to a consistent pattern of going out for a casual day hike and people underestimate their abilities and go on a serious adventure hike without having the equipment," he said. "We're not rescuing people off of well-marked trails. Many of these people are very lucky."

Parker said hikers should fill out a hiking plan to let friends or family know where they are going before they leave. The form is at http://file.lacounty.gov/lasd/cms1_163961.pdf. For tips for hiking safety, visit http://www.cdc.gov/family/camping.

lauren.gold@sgvn.com, twitter.com/laurenkgold, 626-578-6300, ext. 4586


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