Church group members saved by Altadena Mountain Rescue Team – December 5, 2015

The Altadena Mountain Rescue Team received a call at 4:45PM on December 5th regarding three hikers stranded atop the waterfall in Eaton Canyon, in the Angeles National Forest. AMRT, along with the Parks Bureau, responded into the area, establishing a command post at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center. The lost hikers, part of a 50 person church group, separated from the main group and become stranded atop the falls, unable to get down.

Altadena Mountain Rescue Team members hiked up canyon and made the difficult ascent up to the top of the falls. Because of terrain erosion over the recent months from heavy rains, portions of the trail were no longer considered passable by the members on scene. After scouting a location suitable for an anchor, members rappelled down to the victims, ages 12, 26 and 26. All three were uninjured, however, all were complaining of being cold as the temperatures dropped into the low 50’s and neither was dressed appropriately. The victims were provide with warm clothing while a lowering system was rigged to get them safely to canyon bottom.

Once on canyon bottom, the victims were hiked out and then transported to the command post at the Nature Center, where they were reunited with the waiting members of their group.

This operation concluded at 9:45PM

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Father-Daughter time turns into Father-Daughter rescue – November 21, 2015

At approximately 7:15PM on November 21st, the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team received a call regarding a father and daughter stuck on a ridge in Rubio Canyon. Communication via text message was established with the father and he was informed that AMRT was in route.

From the Rubio Canyon trailhead, team members were able to visually locate the victims from their flashlights glimmering on the side of the hill. We proceeded into the canyon to better identify their exact location and develop an extraction plan.

Team members tried to approach the victims from above and below, with both routes initially proving to be unsuccessful. The team members approaching from below readjusted their approach and were eventually able to reach the victims. The father and daughter were safely secured at the location while crews from above rigged a lowering system. Both victims were lowered, along with a rescuer, to the canyon bottom and hiked out. This operation concluded at approximately 12:30AM.

It was discovered during a post-rescue interview that the father and daughter had been hiking the better part of the day and had taken a wrong turn, ending up on a steep scree slope that let them to a steep ridge. Because of the loose terrain they were unable to safely backtrack to the main trail. Wisely, the father decided to call for help instead of risking injury.

These hikers were prepared, with food, water, flashlights and proper clothing. Not all hikers are as prepared. As temperatures stay cool, with lows approaching 30 degrees locally, be sure to carry extra layers. You never know when you may take the wrong trail and end up stuck on a ridge.

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Photo credit @LasdDan

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