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Injured Hiker Airlifted from Eaton Canyon Friday Afternoon

The hiker had head and shoulder injuries and was evacuated from the lower waterfall area of Eaton Canyon.

A man with head and shoulder injuries was airlfited from the falls at Eaton Canyon on Friday afternoon, according to spokeswoman Lisa Derderian of the Pasadena Fire Department.

The man, who was in his 30s, was in the vicinity of the first waterfall, which is the area that can be reached without climbing, Derderian said.  She added that she did not know whether he had climbed or attempted to climb to the upper waterfall.

Pasadena fire personnel responded to the scene but before they reached the hiker the county's Air 5 helicopter evacuated the hiker, who had been assisted by other hikers on the trail, Derderian said.

She did not have further details on the extent of his injuries.  

Tim Macias July 14, 2012 at 12:34 AM
While Air 5 was up there they spotted a second person who had gotten stuck but was uninjured. He was hoisted up by Air 5.
Chris July 14, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I've hiked up there a couple of times: how does one need to get himself rescued? It's an easy hike.
Otis July 14, 2012 at 04:51 PM
@Chris - It's a mystery to me. I feel sorry for the SAR folks getting called out on this type of stuff. My hats off to them. My question is, will all the rescues for these people cut off public access to the falls? An easy hike that,but it seems like some of these goofs like to go off trail and turn it in to a "herd thinning" excercise.
Chris July 14, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Hey Otis! So ... back in my 20's I was an avid backpacker. I went for up to a week at a time up in the Sierras using Lone Pine as a portal. I would have never thought of doing those trips in sneakers. Funny thing is ... I've actually seen an injured hiker in and around the Falls. I'm not talking about the IDIOTS who climb up to the second falls either. They were wearing sneakers. A friend of mine saw the new boots I bought a couple months ago and said, "Are you going backpacking again?" I told him that I wasn't except for in and around Altadena. He laughed and said, "You don't need boots; I do it with sneakers." I'd rather not roll my ankles when hiking around here. Honestly, I think they'll end up cutting off access to many of the trails around here if unprepared idiots keep the helicopters in business. Seriously, pisses me off every time I see one on a mission.
Otis July 14, 2012 at 07:28 PM
@Chris - even worse is when they go hiking in sandals! As far as boots go, in the late 90's I discovered Merrils, and that is my brand of choice. I've been through four pairs of boots in the last 10 years. Not bad getting 2 1/2 years per pair since I wear them on a daily basis. My feet have thanked me ever since. I've also had a couple of close calls with Rattle Snakes, not because I was messing with them, but because I almost stepped on a few by accident as I hiked through the brush. I would much rather have boots on to protect me if one had decided to strike (which would have been totally my fault, not the snakes). Anyway, as dumb as it might be, maybe they need a "hikers education course" at Eaton and you have to pass it and get a permit to hike. Sounds silly, but that would deter some of these idiots. It's overkill I know, a permit for a County Park, but I would rather see that than they close off all access.
JosephR July 14, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Is your goal to see the mountain rescue team disbanded and the air rescue team laid-off? These weekend warriors provide valuable training for our committed firefighters and volunteers. No one can deny the beauty, accessability and allure of the front range. Native peoples hiked barefoot or in moccasins, so can skilled hikers today. I agree with education and re-openning the water company tunnel (hole-in-the-wall) for weekenders to explore the upper falls.
Al M. July 14, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Having turned an ankle a coupla times I always wear my hiking boots out there. I go out into Eaton Cyn sometimes a couple times a week. Now avoid it on the weekends. Astounded by what I see and over hear. Sandles, no water. dressed in black on 90 + degree day. Favorite quote overheard from one of 3 dudes on the way to the falls. "Hey I came out here to see nature, not watch you smoke crack!" Kid you not, the guy had a pipe in his mouth... As for native peoples hiking barefoot. The average Chumash live only around 35 years. Step on a rattler barefoot and it's off to the happy hunting grounds for you.
doris finch July 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM
@Chris and Otis: You speak true, but I beg a bit of indulgence in your judgement of all who enter by the upper gate. My husband and I [70s] frequently stroll down to the bridge of a morning or evening. For this I may be wearing Tevas, sneakers or rubber soled MaryJanes. Perhaps even black attire. So it depends on what one has in mind. For a real walk, on go the hiking boots--yes, we did miss stepping on a rattler in the grass by a good 1/4 inch and have met many an unstable rock underfoot. And JosephR, we remember the "hole-in-the-wall" with access via steel ladders and cables. Our dog didn't much like it though, and maybe we were a bit foolhardy in our youth.
Otis July 14, 2012 at 10:51 PM
@JosephR - No, that is not my goal or did I ever imply anything of the nature. My goal is that people are responsible and accountable for their actions and that the SAR are not put in any dangerous situations due to the negligence of others. Coincidently or not I just saw the Sheriffs helicopter fly over my house about 30 minutes ago. Another injured hiker, I don't know. I'm not wanting to put them out of business either, they are a necessary service, but every time that copter coes up, there is risk involved. I hate to see that risk when it is unnecessary. Lastly, I'm glad you agree with eductaion. I'm afraid the "hole-in-the-wall" will nevcer be reopened due to liability issues. If people can't hike to the first falls without incident, there is no way the County or Forest Service is going to invite further complications in to this matter. Sad for us, but prudent on their part. all the best

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