2 hikers have fallen and died on southern California’s 10,064-foot Mt. Baldy (or Mt. San Antonio) in the past week. 22 hikers and 2 dogs have been rescued via helicopter from Mt. Baldy in the past week.
Just this past Saturday, 12 hikers and 2 dogs took nasty falls and had to be air rescued.
“Many trails in Mt Baldy are closed today due to treacherous conditions. 12 people and 2 dogs were hoisted out by helicopter yesterday with various injuries.” – Mt. Baldy Fire Department on Feb. 7th
All this mayhem has lead officials to close down the popular Mt. Baldy hiking trails as of Sunday. The trails are closed due to “severe risk of injury.”
Baldy Bowl, Bear Flats, Icehouse Canyon, the Three Ts, Chapman and Devil’s Backbone trails are closed.
Rescues and Fatalities on Mt. Baldy, CA in the Past Week:
- Feb. 2nd: Daniel Nguyen, 23, fell to his death while attempting to assist a fellow hiker on a steep part of Mt. Baldy named “Devil’s Backbone.” Daniel feel over 1,500-feet after loosing his footing.
- Feb. 3rd: Injured hiker airlifted from Icehouse Saddle.
- Feb. 4th: 3 hikers took bad falls and were rescued by helicopter hoist.
- Feb 6th at 3:20pm: 5 stranded hikers rescued by helicopter hoist in Icehouse Canyon. All hikers uninjured.
- Feb. 6th at 5:10pm: Dong Xing, 47, fell with his wife Linda, 44 in the Icehouse Saddle area. Dong was killed, his wife survived with”major lower-body injuries”. Linda was helicopter hoisted out in the darkness using ” a night hoist rescue using night vision goggles.”
- Feb. 8th: 12 hikers and 2 dogs rescued by helicopter.
It’s being reported that many of these hikers were unprepared with nearly no gear and some literally had no gear.
“Some of them weren’t even carrying backpacks. It was unbelievable. Then I heard all the helicopter activity later in the morning and afternoon and hikers coming down from the saddle reported that people had fallen and gotten injured.” – eyewitness
“As far as I know, there wasn’t any equipment that was adequate. Crampons wouldn’t have helped. The ice was so smooth it was almost like a mirror, and so hard nothing was going to penetrate it enough to make it safe.” – Mt. Baldy Fire Department Capt. Gordon Greene told the Times
Having crampons and an ice axe is much like have an avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel. These are excellent, required pieces of gear, but if you don’t know how to use them, they’re utterly useless.
Please get educated before heading into the backcountry. Take a mountaineering class, a crevasse rescue class, an avalanche class and never travel into the backcountry without an experienced, badass, qualified partner.