Saturday, January 28, 2012
At 0814 hrs AMRT was called out for a 19 year old female cliffhanger reported high above the Cobb Estate in Las Flores canyon. The call came in from a friend of the stuck person who stated she had started from Chaney trail and headed east.
A second informant called in and stated he could see her east of where he was and gave us GPS coordinates for his location.
As team members made their way up the Mt. Lowe road to access the stuck girl from above, they observed a Fire Dept. helicopter moving in to hoist the girl up and fly her to a landing zone at Farnsworth Park.
A second AMRT unit met the helicopter at Farnsworth Park, and brought the girl who was uninjured back to the Altadena Sheriff's Station.
Upon returning to the AMRT Headquarters the girl was interviewed as to how she came to be stuck in such a dangerous location, far from any maintained trail.
She stated that friday night she decided that she wanted to go on a hike. She set her destination to be the summit of Echo Mountain and looked it up on Google maps.
She began hiking shortly afterward by herself (Saturday morning at approximately 0240 hrs. AM!) She left Pasadena near Caltech where she is a student, walked all the way up Lake Ave, approximately 5 miles, across Loma Alta drive, and up Chaney Trail, approximately 3 miles.
When asked what provisions she had taken along with her, she stated, a cell phone, her credit card and some cash (for a cab in case she was mugged.)
She brought no food, water, warm clothes, or flashlight.
She had not told anyone of her plans.
After hiking up the Mt. Lowe road for approximately 2 miles she decided to go off trail to find a different route to echo mountain.
Shortly thereafter she took a fall of approximately 10 feet and was only stopped when she hit a bush just before a major drop off.
This is when she called her friend and stated her predicament, requesting that rescue teams be called.
Later it was learned that she was stopped by a Sheriff deputy as she was approaching the mountain and was warned not to proceed.
When asked how well she felt her plan and preparations (or lack thereof) and ignoring a warning from law enforcement had worked out for her she stated, "It was fine."
Lessons to be learned:
Proper preparation is needed prior to setting out on a hike, including knowledge of which specific trails you are to be taking.
It is ALWAYS safest to remain only on established trails.
You should ALWAYS have food, water, a flashlight and proper clothing and footwear.
You should ALWAYS tell someone where you are going, the route you are taking, and when you plan to return.
You should ALWAYS stick to that plan.
It is best never to hike alone.
You can fill out a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue Hiking Plan Sheet and provide it to someone just in case something happens and we need to come to your aid.