15 People Rescued in Angeles National Forest Over Weekend

After months of relative quiet, local search and rescue teams along with Sheriff's Department helicopter teams rescued 15 people over the weekend.

Sheriff's Department and local search and rescue volunteers rescued 15 lost hikers in five separate incidents in the Angeles National Forest over the weekend.

The unusually high level of activity happened over a 28-hour period starting Saturday afternoon, according to a department media release.

Here are details of the five incidents:

1) On Saturday afternoon, a seriously injured man flagged down a car on the Angeles Crest Highway and told the driver two other hikers nearby were badly injured.  Two of the men were hospitalized, while one was found dead.  They had fallen several hundred feet into a ravine while hiking.  More details can be

2) On Saturday night, three teen hikers got lost in Eaton Canyon after dark and had to be walked out by the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team.  For more details .

3) Also, on Saturday night, a group of boy scouts and adult leaders got lost in separated from the rest of their troop in the Mt. Wilson area.  They were assisted by Montrose Search and Rescue.  .

4) On Sunday, four boys were airlifted off an Azusa Canyon cliff after they climbed into a place they could not get down from.

5) Also on Sunday, three teens climbed into a closed-off cliff area near Millard Canyon and got stuck.  One was airlifted out and two were taken out by an Altadena Mountain Rescue Team rope team.  More details from our and .

Theresa January 25, 2012 at 03:10 AM
It is clear visitors don't know what the heck they are doing, let alone the "rules of the mountain". At the very least, they should be required to take a safety course, specifically for the Angeles National Forest. There should be mini-courses required to complete, prior to their trip up. Take the courses online (or at a predetermined place). There should be one basic course detailing safe driving for the general mountain area/Angeles Crest Hwy, which may target specific issues (like where rock slides are more prominent, or that there is an emergency vehicle quick-sand escape in the center of Angeles Crest Highway, at about 3/4 mile before approaching the entrance to the 210 Fwy.). They should have other mini-courses for each specific area (like one for Switzer's Falls, one for Mt. Wilson, & so on). When completed, the visitor would be supplied a photo ID card with a unique ID#, stating which locations they are authorized to travel to, so in an emergency the authorities would have access to who exactly is up on the mountain. If an empty vehicle is left unattended after hours (at a picnic ground, for instance), now the Ranger has a starting place to gather info. If the hiker also left his itinerary online, hooked up to his ID Card, now the Ranger knows not only who they are looking for, but where exactly to start looking. Ultimately, this will save cities, the county & taxpayers a lot of money, preventing search and rescue teams/helicopters, in sending parties out.
John January 25, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Or just charge the lost hikers for the time and resources of the department. There are a lot of assets tied up when looking for lost hikers. That would curtail the problem quickly.
Ralph Long January 26, 2012 at 01:26 AM
OMG! That sure sounds like a lot of controls and bureaucracy, but it seems like that is where we are headed, doesn't it? I love to hike and I would hate to have to go through all that just to have to get to my favorite trail - 10 minutes from my house, but I do see Ms. Maria's point. In today's society most people have little, or no, apprecation of how to properly operate in the backcountry. It just is not a requirement for normal life anymore. What a shame. Perhaps a combination Ms. Maria's and John's comments would be best. If you want the government to protect you, you need to go through the training. If you do not want the hassle, you will be charged up the wazoo if we have to come and get you.
John Wayne's Honda January 26, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Really?!?!?!? Do you know what personal responsibility is, the forest does not or will not ever need regulating.
Colleen January 27, 2012 at 03:55 AM
great idea Theresa... that is something they are supposed to do now.. it's called a wilderness permit that they are SUPPOSED to buy and when i say buy.. it's FREE and leave in visible sight IN their vehicle and also states where they are going to hike and it does have a # which when they get the permit, supposed to fill out all the pertinent information should they get lost, etc.. they know where to start looking... and who they are looking for....this comes from my husband.. volunteer forest ranger.. but, as with everything else... people don't go get even the FREE permit when sometimes in actuality it could wind up saving their lives...
Colleen January 27, 2012 at 03:56 AM
I don't think ppl realize its there to do good ... Theresa I read your comment to my husband and said.. this is a good idea isn't it and that's when he repeated the wilderness thing to me lol
James Sebastian February 02, 2012 at 02:56 PM
theresa maria, have you ever gotten out of your chair to step foot on a trail? who are you to order people to get permission to hike? you sound like an anal retentive control freak. search and rescuers are generally volunteers and law enforcement/fire and paramedics are paid to assist the taxpaying public like ME and YOU.
James Sebastian February 02, 2012 at 02:59 PM
The forest service "adventure pass-permit" is purely to make money. It pays the salary of the guy that writes you the ticket if you don't have it. It in no way will help get a victim rescued. Rescuers are notified by friends and family, not a permit. Rescue personnel are often volunteer, and if they are paid they get paid whether they are rescuing or not. When the fire dept isn't working they are at the station watching tv. When sheriffs arent rescuing they are writing tickets.
Joe Walker February 02, 2012 at 04:14 PM
If each person who stupidly goes off the trail for thrills got hit with a $5000 fine for the cost of their rescue, these guys would learn really fast. These people are doing this for the entertainment value-just like the people who line up on Black Friday to see what chaos breaks up at their local Wal Mart. The thrill of being near something dangerous drives them.
Ian February 03, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Theresa, you have GOT to be kidding, right? Heavens to murgatroid!!!! Please tell us you're kidding.
Cassandra Morris February 03, 2012 at 08:13 PM
We've removed a comment that violated our terms of service. Please keep it clean.
Sammy February 08, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Anyone who ever calls 911 should have to pay $5000 for daring to request help.
Nicole Charky February 08, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Sammy, what happens if someone can't afford that?
Glenn Rueger April 02, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Set the rescue fee to reflect its actual cost to the taxpayers.
Blahblahblah April 02, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Charge $ 10,000 for the fire dept to put out your house fire and rescue you
Blahblahblah April 02, 2012 at 09:52 PM
No one can hike anywhere ever without first posting a $10,000 bond
Bob Dollins April 03, 2012 at 04:25 AM
@Theresa, you must be one who believes that "government is the answer." What you propose goes against everything this country is supposed to stand for, mainly "FREEDOM." Give me a break, a training course and ID to hike in our mountains??? You must never have read Orwells book "1984." Big Brother is intruding into our lives more and more each day as it is and you want to expand that intrusion even more? As comedian Ron White says, "Ya can't fix stupid!" Half the people that go into the Angeles Forest are just that, stupid! They never bring the "10 Essentials" every day hiker should have but what they do bring is that city mentality, just look at the trash you find on any of trails. There shouldn't be any if everyone abided by the rule, "pack it in and pack it out" instead of "Oh, somebody will pick it up." But that's what freedom is about, one is free to be stupid when one hikes into our mountains. I would like to see a minimum fee charged to anyone who requires rescue services. Not so much to be overly punitive but enough (eg., $500) to make people think twice about going off trail unprepared. Sometimes there are unforeseen accidents that can happen to anyone.
Blahblahblah April 03, 2012 at 04:56 AM
hiking should be a felony
Blahblahblah April 03, 2012 at 04:57 AM
if youre in a car accident and need help you should be imprisoned for one year. how dare you get the firefighters off the couch!
Blahblahblah April 03, 2012 at 04:58 AM
helicopters are only for catching speeders, not for aiding citizens in distress. you're on your own.
Blahblahblah April 03, 2012 at 05:12 AM
bob, when you call the cops or any other public agency for help I'd like to see them ignore you since youre such a self righteous ayn rand style survivalist. you don't understand how modern societies function. youre naive to think that just carrying the 10 essentials will prevent injuries.
Nico April 04, 2012 at 07:45 AM
No money is being wasted in these situations. the rescuers are using lost/stranded hikers as practice for a real disaster. They can't just sit around reading comic books and keep in top shape. And, if they drop an occasional hiker by mistake, well, lesson well learned!
Glenn Rueger April 06, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Nico, that's something I had not considered. Thanks for the info.


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