San Gabriel Valley Tribune

San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Article Published: Monday, November 28, 2005

Hiker has happy birthday rescue

MOUNT BALDY -- A woman who got lost and spent the night on top of Mount Baldy in freezing temperatures was found Sunday by volunteers from the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue team.

Pamela Susslin of Los Feliz said she wanted to take a hike for her birthday, and had hiked Baldy before. This time, though, she said, she wasn't paying attention and got lost.

"It's a cold, treacherous, nasty mountain, and if you get off track it's not easy to get back," she said.

Using her cell phone, she called a friend, who then told authorities she was lost.

A deputy contacted Susslin by phone and instructed her on how to stay warm, said Dick Sale, senior operations leader with the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue team.

Art Fortini and Susan McCureary of the Sierra Madre team found Susslin about 1:30 p.m. Sunday over the north fork of Lytle Creek, Sale said.

After being examined by paramedics, rescue personnel concluded Susslin didn't need to be hospitalized and took her to her car, authorities said.

She was cold, hungry and thirsty, but fine. "She was in good spirits," Sale said. "She was very lucky," he said. "She was in good shape."

Susslin, who is an actress, declined to state her age, definitely did not think this would be her last birthday celebration, she said.

"It was my birthday, and I thought, 'I can't die on my birthday,'" she said.

Susslin said she learned a lot, and she was very grateful to the team that saved her.

"They were trooping through the night and I had no idea," she said. "They were incredible."

- From staff reports

Copyright 2005 San Gabriel Valley Tribune
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