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Altadena Mountain Rescue Team Blog

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Every year, AMRT, along with all accredited Search & Rescue Teams in the state of California, gather to be tested on a set of disciplines to ensure they continue to maintain the skills needed to perform the often highly technical rescues our terrain demands. This years discipline was search and tracking, and was hosted by Placer County in the town of Auburn, located just outside of Sacramento.

Search and tracking reaccreditation consists of three disciplines; Man Tracking, Grid Search and Emergency Location Transmitter Search. AMRT passed all three disciplines. To view pictures from the day, click here

amrt recert march 2014 10

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UPDATE: The hikers have been found, details will be posted as they become available. 

 

A call came in shortly before 6pm on Wednesday February 5th for two male hikers lost in Eaton Canyon. A text message send by one of the hikers to a family member provided vague details as to their location, stating only that they were in the canyon, near powerlines and could hear a waterfall.

Team members located their vehicles at the Nature Center, verifying that they began their day in the Eaton Canyon area. The search began up canyon and continued throughout the night.

As of this posting, the search continues. Information will be updated as it becomes available.

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The call came in around 6pm Saturday February 1st for 5 hikers lost off trail up Millard Canyon, near Dawn Mine. The group had decided to try a cross-country route out of the canyon, instead of following the trail, and found themselves in a precarious position on the side of the canyon. Unable to proceed up the steep slope, and with loose terrain behind them preventing a safe retreat, the group made the wise decision to call for help.

AMRT team members responded to the scene, and once on site determined the victims were in a safe and stable location. Their position on the canyon slope could be reached via hand-line, negating the need for a complex system. Two team members were soon with the victims and began the process of escorting the up to the service road above.

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After an exhaustive overnight search that continued into the morning, the four missing mountain bikers were located deep in the Arroyo at the mouth of Bear Canyon.

Having began their day at Mt. Wilson with a planned destination of the Arroyo behind JPL, the group made a wrong turn and ended up deep in Bear Canyon. When darkness set in, the group determined the best plan of action was to set up camp and stay the night as the rugged train of Bear Canyon would prove to be difficult to navigate in the dark. With no way to communicate with their friends and family, and armed with nothing more than their mountain biking gear, the group was able to start a small fire and huddled together for warmth until morning.

Today's operation is a perfect example of why you should always be prepared for any possibility when venturing into the forest. Luckily this group had the ability to start a camp fire, which more than likely prevented the onset of hypothermia as temperatures dropped into the mid-40's. It always makes good sense to pack items you may need, such as a light jacked and a flashlight, in the event you find yourself in a similar situation. And don't always count on cell service in the mountains, especially if you end up deep in a canyon.

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After an extensive overnight search, the Altadean Mountain Rescue Team continues its search this morning for 4 missing mountain bikers in the Angeles National Forest. 

As previously stated, when details become available this blog will be updated. 

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AMRT is responding to a call for 4 missing mountain bikers in the Arroyo, located behind JPL in the San Gabriel Mountains. As more information becomes available the blog will be updated.

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Established in 1951, the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team is the oldest organization of its kind in Southern California and a founding member of the Mountain Rescue Association. as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization we do not charge for ANY searches or rescues no matter how extensive, difficult, or dangerous they may be. Consequently, over 50% of the funding for necessary equipment, vehicles, and training comes from private donations.

With this active operating tempo the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team is understandably hard on equipment and vehicles. Your tax-deductible donation today will ensure that the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team can continue in needed rescue services to the citizens of Los Angeles County.

training - rubio canyon august 2013 27 20130820 1667752941

 

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Established in 1951, the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team is the oldest organization of its kind in Southern California and a founding member of the Mountain Rescue Association. as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization we do not charge for ANY searches or rescues no matter how extensive, difficult, or dangerous they may be. Consequently, over 50% of the funding for necessary equipment, vehicles, and training comes from private donations.

With this active operating tempo the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team is understandably hard on equipment and vehicles. Your tax-deductible donation today will ensure that the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team can continue in needed rescue services to the citizens of Los Angeles County.

training - rubio canyon august 2013 53 20130820 1596830750

 

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The call went out just after 9am on Sunday October 27 for a missing 10 year old boy, not in the mountians but in the city. Members from AMRT mobilized and began to search the streets in the area the child was last seen. Two members of AMRT were able to locate the missing child approximately 1 hour after their search began.

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The call came in just before 4pm on Tuesday October 8th for a hiker stuck between the 1st and 2nd waterfalls in Eaton Canyon. AMRT responded to the canyon and discovered an individual along the west wall, clinging to a ridgeline approximately 150 feet above canyon bottom.

Rescuers climbed above the victim to assess the situation and determine a location to set-up a rescue system. Once in position, it was determined the best plan of action would be to request a helicopter pick-off. A county helicopter was directed to the rescuers location and the victim was successfully rescued.

It was soon discovered there was a second individual who had continued to climb up the canyon. He was found by two members of AMRT along another ridgeline and safely transported to canyon bottom.

After each of the victims was safely at the command post, it was discovered they each had outstanding warrants and were subsequently taken into custody.

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Interested in becoming a member of the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team? Join us at a membership drive to be held Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center, 1750 N. Altadena Dr. in Pasadena from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn more about the organization, meet members of the team, see rescue demonstrations, and learn how you can help. 

training - rubio canyon august 2013 53 20130820 1596830750

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AMRT responded to a call for a hiker stuck on a cliff near the first waterfall in Eaton Canyon. Once on scene, rescuers found a 25 year-old male more than 200 feet above canyon bottom. A crew was dispatched to a location above the victim, where a system was set up and a rescuer was lowered down to his position. Once safely secured in the rescue harness, the rescuer and victim were lowered to the canyon bottom.


In all, the operation took 5 hours and utilized 14 rescuers from both Altadena and Sierra Madre mountain rescue teams.

The hiker, a resident of Los Angeles, was uninjured and transported to his vehicle.

operation 9-11-2013

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Earlier this year, CBS News' Carter Evans, along with a camera crew, spent the day with AMRT on a high-line training exercise in Eaton Canyon. Click the image below to watch the segment that aired Friday September 6th on CBS This Morning.

 blog cbs carter

 Click here to view the video on CBS News

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55 images from Sunday's training in Rubio Canyon have been added to the gallery.

This weeks training began early, as early as 4:30am for some. The exercise was designed to simulate the removal of an injured victim from deep within Rubio Canyon. During this scenario, the "victim" was presented with a lower leg fracture and multiple lacerations from a low level fall just above 80' high Thalehaha Falls. This training exercise was conducted as if it was a real operation, with only the training officer and three other members of the team actually aware of the planned exercise for the day, and two of those members were playing the roles of the victims.

Once on scene, rescuers conducted a medical assessment of the victim and began preparing her for packaging in the litter. Once securely in the litter, and with a lowering system set up, extraction began. Five waterfalls, multiple systems and many hours later, the victim was safely out of the canyon. 

training - rubio canyon august 2013 27 20130820 1667752941

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The call came in just after 8:30pm Monday August 5th for five hikers stranded in Eaton Canyon. AMRT responded, sending a crew to the Pinecrest entry gate. Once on site, team members were able to locate the victims, stuck on a ridge high above canyon bottom. It was determined the best option would be to approach the victims from above.

After making their way up the mountain to a location above the victims, rescuers then had to identify a route that would allow them to safely get closer, closing the more than 600 foot distance to the victims below. Once at a secure location on the mountain, a rescuer was lowered approximately 200 feet down to the stranded hikers, extracting the first of five individuals. After the first evolution, it was determined that two hikers could be safely extracted simultaneously. Two more evolutions were performed, and all five hikers were safely in the hands of the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team. The operation concluded at approximately 2:15am Tuesday.

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Below is an excerpt from an article that appeared on L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website on May 2nd about the dangers of Eaton Canyon and the five fatalities that have occurred there in the last two years. To read the full article, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

 

  Five people have died in the upper raches of Eaton Canyon in the past two years, including this man in 2011.

 

It was late in the day when several twentysomething hikers happened upon veteran Los Angeles County rescuer Richard De Leon. Next to him was another young man, whose broken body had just been retrieved from the rocky floor of Eaton Canyon.

“Where you coming from?” De Leon asked the group, knowing all too well the answer.

“The second falls,” they confirmed. “But we’re fine.”

De Leon motioned to the man now being photographed by coroner’s officials. “So was he about an hour ago.”  

The hikers assured De Leon they weren’t like that guy.  “We know what we’re doing,” they insisted.

“So did he,” the rescuer said, hoping to drive home his point but knowing that he might as well have been lecturing the rocks.

Click Here to continue reading the piece on 

 

 

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The call came in just after 12:30pm for a hiker stuck on a ridge above the first waterfall in Eaton Canyon. Team members deployed to Eaton Canyon and located the victim, on the ridgeline above canyon bottom where so many hikers end up.

The individuals position on the ridge did not require a highly technical rescue, instead, team members were able to set a nummber of hand lines, allowing them to gain access to the victim. Once at the victims location he was placed in a harness and secured to a hand line. Once safely secured, the process of getting down the ridge to canyon bottom began. By 4:30pm the victim was safely down from the ridge and the team was back at headquarters. 

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Today was day one of a three day training exercise arranged by L.A. County Fire that took place on the Angeles Crest Highway. Along with AMRT, there was Montrose Search & Rescue, U.S. Forest Service and multiple stations from L.A. County Fire. The training operation focused on high angle extraction. Pictures from todays exercise have been added to the gallery.

la county sheriff and fire training 2013 1 20130426 1359161482 

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Images from team training at Devil's Gate on Sunday April 14th have been added to the gallery

training devil 5 20130424 2032510755

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*UPDATE - The boy was found unharmed.

A call came in just before 8am to search Devil's Gate Reservoir for a missing 11 year old boy. Team members are responding at this time. Updates will be posted as they become available.

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