A trio of hikers were rescued from Mt. Baldy on Monday by a search and rescue team after spending a cold night on the mountain, officials said.
The group, who had taken the Bear Canyon Trail, lost the trail at an elevation of around 8,000 feet on Sunday night because of the “storm and significant snowfall,” according to the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The climbers, however, were able to maintain contact with rescue groups, who told them to shelter in place overnight until rescuers could climb the mountain and locate them, the Sierra Madre team said.
On Monday, a group of eight rescue personnel hiked four miles to the location that the hikers, using a link sent by rescuers, had marked on a map on CalTopo, a geolocation platform that search and rescue teams use.
The hikers were sheltering between rocks to block winds that reached up to 50 miles per hour. They had brought a tent and sleeping bags. Temperatures on Mt. Baldy hovered around 40 degrees that night. The rescue team, which included members of Sierra Madre Search and Rescue, found the hikers around 1 p.m.
They began the trek down the mountain, and a second crew met up with them with hot chocolate, tea and sandwiches for the climbers and rescuers, according to the Sierra Madre team.
The operation was finished around 5 p.m.
The rescue groups noted that the hikers were experienced and followed a few basic rules that helped make the mission a safe rescue.
Importantly, the hikers left their itinerary with a family member, who knew to reach out to search and rescue teams.
The climbers also turned around when the weather conditions started to get worse, instead of continuing to try to summit Baldy. They also had appropriate gear and carried a whistle, which helped the rescue team locate them.
“We believe this preparation contributed directly to why these three hikers are alive and back home today,” the Sierra Madre team wrote in a Facebook post.
Mt. Baldy is one of the nation’s deadliest peaks. Its proximity to Los Angeles means it has a strong pull for experienced and inexperienced hikers who want to get a climb in without venturing too far from civilization.
There have been more than 100 rescues and 10 deaths on the mountain since 2020, including the death of actor Julian Sands, who went missing on the mountain in January 2023. His remains were found nearly six months later.