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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. 




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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.

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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.









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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

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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.

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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

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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


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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.

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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)

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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 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

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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.

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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. 
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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.

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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.

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  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.

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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.

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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.

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The period of April 5-9, 2014 proved to be a busy one for AMRT. Below is a recap of the operatons the team was involved in during that five day stretch. 


April 5
The Sheriff's department received a call shortly after 10pm stating the sounds of a woman screaming and gunshots were heard in the area of Cobb Estate. A page was sent out asking for available sworn members of AMRT to respond to assist LASD with clearing Cobb Estate and the surrounding terrain. The road from the entrance to Cobb Estate up to the water tank was cleared, with no one found.

A helicopter was called in to sweep the area with infrared, and located a group of individuals under a tree. Contact was made by AMRT members on scene, and after it was determined they were not a threat they were directed to leave the area.

AMRT, along with members of LASD, continued to clear the areas of Los Flores Canyon and Sam Merrill Trail. The source of the person screaming and the gun shots was not discovered.

April 6

A call was received at 2:24pm for 2 injured hikers by the second waterfall in Eaton Canyon. Air 5 was called and notified of the operation, at which point they responded. AMRT proceeded to Pinecrest Gate to liaison with County Fire and Forestry Service. Once on scene, we were informed that Air 5 had lowered a medic to the location of the victim, a 36 year old female with a broken ankle. The victim was attended to by the medic on scene and airlifted to Huntington Memorial Hospital.

April 6

While on the first call a second call came in at 3:12pm for an individual hanging on a cliff in the area of Millard Canyon. With the operation in Eaton Canyon under control, members of AMRT, along with Montrose SAR and County Fire, responded to Brown Mountain Trail.

Ground units began searching the area indicated by the informant while a county helicopter searched from the air. The victim was located by the helicopter, which proceeded to hoist the 22 year old male and transport him to a safe landing zone.

The victim had become lost and wandered off trail and became stranded on a steep mountainside. He only sustained minor scratches and refused transport to the hospital.

April 9

Call came in for 2 hikers stranded above the first waterfall in Eaton Canyon. AMRT responded to the location specified by the informant. While in route communication with Air 5 was established. Based on the location of the victims and the proximity of Air 5 to the scene it was determined an air rescue would be the best option.

AMRT headed to Farnsworth Park to clear a landing zone and receive the victims. Upon making contact with the helicopter, it was then determined that there were in fact 4 victims, all college students at Caltech.

After assessing their condition all 4 victims were released.

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The call came in shortly before 9pm on Sunday April 27th. A male hiker in his 20's began his day at Cobb Estate around 3pm. Approximately 5 hours into his hike, he found himself lost in the mountains unsure of how to get back. It was at that time he called 911 and asked for help.

Contact with the victim was made via cell phone for a brief moment before his battery died, allowing the operations leader to obtain some vague details as to his approximate location.

AMRT began dispatching teams to search the area, with a focus on the trails and terrain around Echo Mountain. A county helicopter initially began a search of the area along with members on the ground, but was forced to turn back due to high winds.

At approximately 4:30am voice contact was made with the missing hiker, and rescue teams believed they were within 500 feet of his location. Because of the rugged terrain, and the fact that he was not on an established trail, finding his exact location proved to be difficult. At first light, Air 5 was deployed to search the area from the air, and within an hour his exact location was determined. At that time a rescuer was lowered from the helicopter to extract the victim. Although cold from his night out without proper clothing, he was not injured.

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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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