When training turns to reality – November 15, 2015

The Altadena Mountain Rescue Team was out early Sunday morning for our monthly team training exercise. This month had the team working on ELT (Emergency Location Transmitter) and L-per directional finders.

The morning began early for the “victims” in the training operation, as two team members made their way into the Arroyo Seco to place the ELT and stage a member portraying the injured pilot of a downed aircraft.

As three groups of team members were fanned out across the local mountains to begin the process of locating the ELT, the two members located in the Arroyo Seco took the available time to assess the condition of some of the trails in the area. This area of the Angeles National Forest sees heavy usage, especially among mountain bikers. Being familiar with the main trail and any spur trails in the area is vital.

Having hiked to the debris basin and assessed a side trail, the AMRT members made their way back to the location of the ELT, crossing paths with numerous mountain bikers and a few trail runners along the way.

Once back at the location of the ELT, while reviewing the medical scenario to be presented to the first team on scene for the training operation, the training turned into a real rescue operation.

A trail runner, coming down from the debris dam, stumbled and fell to the ground approximately 100 feet up trail from the AMRT members. From her reaction it appeared she had suffered an injury to her right ankle. The two AMRT members approached the victim and her companion, introduced themselves and asked if she needed medical assistance. Initially she thought she would be able to make it out of the Arroyo and back to her vehicle with the assistance of her running companion. Attempts to place weight on the ankle proved otherwise.

At that time, the training officer called an end to the team training and informed the team of the now active rescue operation. While waiting for the arrival of a litter and additional team members, the members on scene prepped the victim, splinting her right ankle and cleaning a wound on her left knee.arroyo 11 15 2015 01

Because team members were deployed locally for the training, they were quick to arrive with the litter and litter wheel needed to transport the victim down trail to a team vehicle. Once at the team vehicle, the victim was transferred from the litter and driven, along with her companion, to their personal vehicle.

arroyo 11 15 2015 03

arroyo 11 15 2015 04

There have been many times a training exercise has been cut short because of a call for a real operation. This may be the first time team members actually witnessed the incident they incident that caused the injury.

346 Hits

AMRT responds to report of cries for help in the area of Rubio Canyon – November 9, 2015

At approximately 8:50AM on Monday November 9th, a call from an informant was received stating she heard cries for help in the area of Rubio Canyon. The Altadena Mountain Rescue Team, along with Sierra Madre Search and Rescue and units from Los Angeles County Fire, began searching Rubio Canyon and several dry waterways and debris basins in the surrounding areas.

The victim was located in Rubio Canyon by ground crews, and hoisted by LA County Fire Helicopter 14 and transported to Farnsworth Park. Upon arrival at Farnsworth park and after further assessment, it was determined the victim needed further treatment and was transported by ground via ambulance to Huntington Memorial.

The victim, a 23 year old female, was on a hike to Echo Mountain when she took a wrong trail and became lost, spending 2 days out in the elements. She had no cell phone coverage, little food or water and lacked warm clothing.

283 Hits

AMRT responds to call for injured mountain biker - October 28, 2015

At approximately 10:35am on Wednesday October 28th, a call came in for an injured mountain biker on the Lower Sam Merrill Trail, approximately 2 miles from the trailhead.

AMRT, along with ground crews from LA County Fire, hiked in from the trailhead at Lake and Alta Loma while a second crew from AMRT drove up the Mt. Lowe fire road to approach the victim from above.

LA County Sheriff’s Air Rescue 5 began a search from the air, and was able to locate the victim, approximately 30 feet over the side of the trail. A medic was lowered down to attend to the mountain biker, who was then hoisted into the helicopter and transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital. The victim, a 51 year old male from Alhambra, received numerous scratches along with a punctured left lung from his fall. 

With the victim safely on his way to the hospital, AMRT continued to the scene of the incident to retrieve his bike and personal belongings and return them to him at Huntington Memorial.
According to the victim’s statement to AMRT, he was riding up the narrow Lower Sam Trail and had moved to one side to allow hikers to pass. Upon putting his foot down and finding nothing there, he fell approximately 30 feet over the side.

This operation concluded at approximately 2:00PM




425 Hits

As the dog days of summer continue, so do the dog rescues - August 2nd, 2015

At approximately 3pm on Sunday August 2nd, the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team responded to a call for an injured dog on the Lower Sam Merrill Trail. The victim, a 5 year old Shephard mix, along with its owner, were located approximately 1 mile up the trail. Once on scene, the team determined that along with a laceration it had suffered to its paw, it was also suffering from heat exhaustion. Efferts were made on scene to begin cooling the dog while also attending to its lacerated foot. The dog was then transported via litter down the trail and placed in the air conditioned cab of a waiting Sheriff's vehicle. The dog and its owner were then driven to their own vehicle, with the owner taking the dog to a private veterinary clinic for treatment. This opeation concluded at approximately 5:30PM

As temperatures are expected into the high 90's again this weekend, remember that your four legged hiking partner needs water also. Bring along a collapsible bowl and plenty of bottled water, and avoid hiking in the middle of the day when the sun is directly overhead, limiting the amount of shade on the trail. 




1603 Hits

Altadena Mountain Rescue Team rescues dog suffering from heatstroke – June 8, 2015

As temperatures reached the 90's by mid-day, a page went out to team members for a dog suffering from heatstroke near the waterfall in Eaton Canyon. The team learned that LACoFD Engine 66 was at the Pinecrest gate and had made contact with the informant. The informant stated the victim, a four-year-old Boxer, was somewhere along the Eaton Canyon trail between the bridge and the Nature Center.

AMRT sent members into the canyon from both ends, locating the victim just north of Walnut Canyon. The dog's owner sought shelter in a shady area just off the trail; attempts to provide the dog with water proved unsuccessful, as he was unable to keep it down.

The decision was made to transport the dog out of the canyon in one of the teams air conditioned vehicles to a shady area on Pincecrest Drive. It was there that multiple ice packs were utilized to begin cooling the dog. He was then transported by the team to the Nature Center, where an officer from the Pasadena Humane Society assisted in giving the dog cold water to further lower his temperature. The dog was now out of danger, and transported along with his owner back to their vehicle.

As summer approaches and temperatures rise, be sure to consider the safety of your four legged friends as you hit the trails. Dogs cannot clearly communicate their distress until it is often too late. Be sure to carry plenty of water and a portable/collapsible bowl. Also plan to hike in the early morning or late afternoon hours when temperatures are lower and the sun is not directly overhead.

1604 Hits

AMRT saves the day, and the dogs - March 19, 2015

This write-up is from a call from a couple of weeks ago........

A call came in to the headquarters at approximately 7:00pm for a female with 2 dogs stuck on the side of a mountain in Millard Canyon. AMRT was able to establish cell phone contact with the victim and determine her approximate location near Saucer Branch.

Team members were sent to Sierra Saddle in an attempt to locate the victim from above and establish communication while additional members entered Millard Canyon to search for the victim. Cell phone service was intermittent in the canyon; however, we were able to communicate via text letting her know we were in route. The victim conveyed that she was under a tree off the trail and would likely not be seen from above, but should be clearly visible from canyon bottom.

Voice contact was quickly established by the team members making their way up from velow, shortly thereafter locating the victim approximately 50 feet off of canyon bottom on a scree slope. A hand line was set up allowing team members too safely get her and her dogs to canyon bottom. Assuring all were safe and uninjured, the victims were walked out.









2049 Hits

Images from the recent Technical Rock Recert held March 7, 2015 in Joshua Tree have been added to the gallery

AMRT successfully completed the 2015 Technical Rock Accredidation held Saturday March 7th in Joshua Tree. This years event was comprised of two scenarios, one medical based with a technical component and the main technical rescue. Click on the link to the gallery to see images from the days events.

technical rock 2015 3 20150311 1414302511

2284 Hits

Team responds to call for injured hiker near Inspiration Point - February 15, 2014

On February 15th at 12:15PM the team responded to a call regarding a female hiker with a broken ankle in the area of Inspiration Point. L.A. County Sheriff’s Air Rescue 5 located the hiker, a 31 year old female with a left ankle injury at Inspiration Point, just north of Castle Canyon. The victim was hoisted by Air Rescue 5 and transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The victim’s husband, who had been hiking with the victim, was transported by AMRT from Inspiration point back to his vehicle. This operation concluded at approximately 2:30PM.

2112 Hits

Three lost hikers rescued from Millard Canyon - February 16, 2015

At approximately 3:30PM on Monday February 16th a call was received regarding a lost female hiker in the area of Millard Canyon. AMRT responded to the location, and upon arrival could hear persons yelling for help. Team members directed L.A. County Sheriff’s Air 21 into the area, which was able to locate the three lost hikers at the bottom of Millard Canyon and provide specifics as to their exact location.

The three female hikers had been hiking and lost sight of the trail. After attempts to rediscover the trail had proven unsuccessful, they called 911 for assistance. Team members reached the victims and lead them out of the canyon, at which point they were transported to their vehicles. This operation concluded at approximately 7:00PM.

02-16-2015 Millard Canyon

2587 Hits

Stranded hiker in Eaton Canyon - February 10, 2015

At 10:15 AM on Tuesday February 10th a call was received for a hiker missing in Eaton Canyon. Altadena Mountain Rescue Team responded, locating the 27 year old female victim atop a dry waterfall in Coyote Canyon. While trail running in the area, she lost the trail and attempted to backtrack to her original route, eventually finding herself in a position that would require assistance.

AMRT set up position above the victim, employing approximately 600 feet of rope to send a rescuer down to her. Once at her position, she was safely secured into a harness and lowered approximately 150 feet to the canyon bottom. The victim was provided with water and transported to her vehicle located north of the Eaton Canyon Nature Center. 

02-10-2015 Coyote Canyon


2542 Hits

Holiday weekend proves to be busy one for AMRT – January 17-19, 2015

With five calls and three team activations over the 3 day holiday weekend, the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team was kept busy.

Saturday January 17th
At approximately 6:00pm on Saturday January 17th a call was received for a male adult with a possible broken leg in the Angeles National Forest. The victim, part of a group of five, was hiking in the Pasadena Glen Canyon area. AMRT, along with Sierra Madre Search and Rescue, LA County and Pasadena Fire responded to the area specified to begin a search for the victim. LA County Fire Helicopter 15, aiding in the search from above, was able to locate the victim, who was hoisted and transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital.
Sierra Madre Search and Rescue hiked in and led out the remaining 4 hikers, all uninjured ranging in age from 14-18. According to their account, they were hiking off trail and the victim fell approximately 15 feet down a steep canyon.

Sunday January 18th
Around 5:30pm on Sunday January 18th AMRT responded to a call for a lost hiker in the area of Eaton Canyon. Altadena, along with members of Sierra Madre Search and Rescue, dispatched to the area and began a search for the victim. LA County Sheriff’s Air 21, providing assistance from above, was able to locate the victim and provide GPS coordinates to teams on the ground.
Using this information, AMRT was able to locate the victim in Eaton Canyon off the Idlehour trail. The 21 year old male, who had become lost in the canyon after darkness set in, was led out and driven to his vehicle.

Monday January 19th
A request to assist Montrose Search and Rescue was received at approximately 7:00pm on Monday January 19th by AMRT. The call was to assist in a search for 8 hikers in the area of Millar Canyon / Dawn Mine. Two of the hikers had been separated from the others and called 911, which was routed to the California Highway Patrol. CHP informed Montrose who in turn called Altadena to assist.
Shortly after the search began, the missing victims were able to make their way out of the canyon and notify the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station that they were safe.

2229 Hits

AMRT Responds to call for two mountain bikers lost near Altadena - December 29, 2014

Shortly after 6:00 a.m. a page went out to team members for two missing mountain bikers. The individuals, both 18-year-old males, had traveled from Valencia, hitting the trail at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. Their plan was to ride from Mt. Wilson to Altadena, but as darkness set in they became lost in the mountains. Their family reported them missing when they did not return that evening.

After confirming details with the individual who reported them missing, a search began for their vehicle at the various trailheads in the area. Members from the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team along with L.A. County Fire, CHP, Sierra Madre and Montrose SAR all responded to the call. Once their vehicle was located at the Windsor Gate near The Arroyo, a detailed search began in that area. LASD Air 8 was able to locate the victims from the air, just north of the Oakwilde Campground in Arroyo Seco Canyon.

L.A. County Fire Air 19 performed a hoist rescue, safely extracting the bikers. After being evaluated by paramedics, they were transported to L.A. County Fire Camp 2 in La Canada where they were reunited with their family.

missing mountainbikers december 29-2014

(Photo credit ABC7)

2420 Hits

Support the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team today

The Altadena Mountain Rescue Team works year round to ensure that when we are needed, we are prepared. Whether it is technical rope, search and tracking or snow and ice, we train for all possible scenarios. This training, along with more than 70 rescue operations a year, takes a toll on our gear.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we rely heavily on donations from the community for support. Without your donation we would not be able to provide the services we do. Whether it is a monetary donation, a donation of equipment or supplies, every contribution is greatly appreciated and will allow the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team to maintain the high level of skills needed on every rescue operation.

To make a tax deductible monetary donation today please visit www.amrt.org/support. To make a donation of equipment or supplies, which is also tax deductible, please contact us via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thank you from the members of the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team

2750 Hits

15 hikers rescued from Eaton Canon - November 10, 2014

The page went out to team members just after 10pm on Sunday November 9th for group of hikers stranded in Eaton Canyon. Members of the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team responded and began their search. Because of poor visibility, air support was not an option and we would rely solely on a ground search

The missing group, comprised of 15 individuals with ages ranging from 16-35, had been canyoneering Eaton Canyon and was unable to get out of the canyon before darkness set in. Cold and wet, and still deep in the canyon, they had decided to call for help.

After searching through the night, the decision was made to call in Montrose and Sierra Madre to assist with the continued ground search. Once the fog had cleared, air support was called in to search from above.

LASD Air Rescue 5 was able to locate the group in a remote portion of the canyon and began to airlift them from their location. Shortly after 10am all 15 members of the group were safely reunited with their friends and family.

2621 Hits

Search for lost hiker in the area of Echo Mountain - June 5, 2014

Search for lost hiker in the area of Echo Mountain - June 5, 2014
The page went out to the team just before 9pm on Sunday October 5th for a lost hiker in the vicinity of Echo Mountain. The male victim had been hiking on the Lower Sam Merrill trail when he decided to deviate from the established trail. The victim soon found himself stuck, unable to make his way down to canyon bottom or back up to the trail. He was not aware of his exact location, but it was determined he was located within Las Flores Canyon.
AMRT dispatched a team to the area to begin the search for the victim. Because of the large area to be covered in the dark, the decision was made to call in air support to assist with the search. Utilizing FLIR, the helicopter was able to locate the victim on the side of the canyon, approximately 800 feet below. 
With accessibility from above limited, and a 2 hour hike required to reach the victim from below, it was determined the best option was an air rescue. While the victim appeared to be in a stable location, the sooner he was removed from the canyon the better chance he would have of escaping without injury. 
The victim was hoisted from his location and transported to Farnsworth Park, where AMRT had cleared a landing zone and received the victim from the helicopter. 
2679 Hits

The first weekend of summer proves to be a busy one for AMRT - Weekend recap - June 19-21, 2014

June 19 – At approximately 12:30pm the page went out for a 23 year old male hiker complaining of dehydration in the vicinity of Echo Mountain. AMRT mobilized, and shortly after learned that LASD Air Rescue 5 was in route. Members of the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team met the helicopter at Farnsworth part, where the victim refused medical treatment and signed out against medical advice.

June 19 – As the operation for the dehydrated hiker was wrapping up, another call came in for 4 lost hikers near Panorama Point. They had entered what appeared to be a trail which quickly deteriorated as they worked their way down the slope. Unable to continue down or make the climb back up, they made the decision to call for help. During their ordeal, one of the victims lost his footing and slid 40-50 feet down the slope, suffering lacerations to his hands. Air Rescue 5 was able to extract the victims from their location and transport them to Farnsworth Park. AMRT met the helicopter and transferred injured victim to a waiting ambulance.

June 20 – At 12:32pm a call was received regarding an 18 year old female suffering from a dog bite in Eaton Canyon. Before the team could make it into the field we were informed that she had walked out of the canyon on her own.

June 21 – The page went out at 12:58pm for an 18 year old male who had fallen approximately 20ft in the area of Coyote Canyon. Los Angeles County Fire were first on scene and attended to the victim prior to the arrival of AMRT.

June 21 – Just after 2pm a call was received for 3 lost hikers who were attempting to get to Dawn Mine. AMRT and Air Rescue 5 responded and began the search. Air 5 spotted them in Saucer Branch and began a hoist. Members of AMRT met the helicopter at Farnsworth and transported them back to their vehicle on Chaney Trial.

June 21 – A call came in just before 9pm to assist Montrose Search & Rescue with a search for lost mountain bikers. As teams began to mobilize we had to divert to a call for 4 lost hikers in Eaton Canyon. An informant received a call from one of the victims who stated they were lost above the bridge near the waterfall in Eaton Canyon. AMRT arrived in Eaton Canyon and were able to quickly locate them. They began their hike in the early evening just before sunset and didn't bring flashlights. Without a light source in the canyon after sunset they were unable to find their way out. AMRT walked them down canyon to the team vehicles and transported them to their vehicle near the nature center. As we were finishing the call, we heard that the mountain bikers were located at Switzers.

3210 Hits

AMRT responds to call for lost hikers on the Mt. Wilson Toll Road - June 16, 2014

A call came in at approximately 7pm for two female hikers stranded ½ mile up from the Mt. Wilson Toll Road sign in the Eaton Canyon area. It was reported that they had started from Chantry Flats on the Winter Creek trail in Sierra Madre. Initial attempts to contact the victims proved to be unsuccessful.

AMRT deployed, heading up the Mt. Wilson Toll Road in search of the victims. Eventually contact was made with the victims, and it was determined they were near the fork of the Mt. Wilson and Winter Creek trails, placing them in the area of Sierra Madre Search & Rescue. SMSAR was immediately contact, while AMRT proceeded as an assist to Sierra Madre.

The victims were soon located by AMRT and transported down the Mt. Wilson Toll Road. Members of Sierra Madre Search & Rescue met the team at the Pinecrest Gate, at which time the victims were handed over to them for transport back to their vehicle at Chantry Flats.

3048 Hits

AMRT responds to call for heat exhaustion, the victims in this case were man's best friend - June 8, 2014

  A call came in just after 4pm for two dogs suffering from heat exhaustion on the lower Sam Merrill Trail, approximately 1 mile from the trail head. AMRT responded, and once on scene immediately began tending to the victims. The dogs were given water and cooled with ice packs.

Once it was determined the dogs were out of danger, they were released back to their owners to make their way down the mountain.

 sam merrill - canine heat exhaustion 2 20140608 1692317039 sam merrill - canine heat exhaustion 1 20140608 1885530032

As a reminder to all dog owners as we enter into the hot summer months, bring water not only for yourself but for your four legged companion, and plenty of it.

Heat stroke begins with heavy panting and difficulty breathing, and can also be accompanied with wobbly or uncoordinated gait or movement along with other, more severe symptoms.

Animals should have access to shade and fresh water while outdoors. If the temperature is very warm, outdoor access should be limited to short periods of time. Your dog is wearing a fur coat, and temperatures that are bearable to you can become deadly for your dog.

If you plan to hit the outdoors with your pet, do so in the early morning or evening hours when temperatures are cooler and the sun is not directly overhead. And always bring plenty of water.

3255 Hits

Stranded Hiker and Lost Mountain Bikers - Memorial Day 2014 recap

After a long quiet weekend for AMRT, a page went out just after 4pm for a male hiker stuck on a cliff near the first waterfall in Eaton Canyon. AMRT responded, sending a crew up canyon to evaluate the situation. After arriving at the location reported by the informant, it was discovered the victim had made his way down to canyon bottom uninjured.

Later that evening AMRT received a call regarding three missing mountain bikers. The group of bikers had started their day at approximately 1pm from Mt. Wilson, in the Angeles National Forest and were expected home around 5pm. Initially, one of the bikers had contacted the informant letting her know they were running late and would not make the 5pm return time. Hours later, with no update from and no contact with the bikers, the informant drove to the Altadena Sheriff's Station to report them missing.

AMRT, along with Montrose Search and Rescue, were notified and began to mobilize. A Los Angeles County Fire Helicopter was called in to assist with the search from the air, utilizing onboard night vision capabilities. After approximately 25 minutes, the victims were located by the helicopter in Bear Canyon. A helicopter lowered a paramedic down to the victims and after confirming they were uninjured, began a hoist rescue.

Members of AMRT, along with LASD deputies, met the helicopter and transported the victims back to their vehicle.

The victims had been on a trail that became less defined, and with darkness upon them, they believed they were lost and made the decision to make camp and start a fire to keep warm.

3385 Hits

AMRT responds to call for lost hikers in Eaton Canyon - May 29, 2014

While training on the Mt. Wilson Toll Road Bridge, a call came out for two female hikers, with two dogs, lost in Eaton Canyon, one with a possible sprained ankle. Four members were immediately mobilized and began a search of the canyon above the bridge. Minutes later a second team was sent down canyon to clear the area between the bridge and the nature center.

Attempts to reach them by cell phone initially proved unsuccessful. Eventually contact was made with the victims and it was determined they were below the bridge slowly making their way towards the nature center. While the second team continued down canyon in search of the victims, the first team was redeployed, with instructions to go to the nature center and liaison with County Fire that had arrived on scene.

Eventually the second team made contact with the victims near the nature center. They were escorted to the parking area of the nature center where they refused medical treatment. With neither victim appearing to be injured, they were released and sent on their way.

2799 Hits
Altaldena mtnrescue altadena mountai rescue logo 1960-70 Altadena Mountaineers 72dpi mra 72dpi


email icon black