Stranded Hiker Saved in Complicated Eaton Canyon Night Rescue

It took seven hours for the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team to get out a hiker who got himself stuck down in a canyon while climbing up above Eaton Canyon

The Altadena Mountain Rescue Team spent about seven hours Thursday night on rescuing a hiker stuck in a hard-to-reach spot in Eaton Canyon, according to Rich Deleon, a team member who participated in the rescue.

A male hiker got stuck down in a canyon around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and the team ultimately hoisted him out around 12:30 a.m. Friday, Deleon said.

The hiker was stuck in a very atypical spot - he started along the ridge line towards the upper water falls where so many hikers get stuck, but then switched directions and started heading back towards the trailhead while still up on the ridge, Deleon said.

He then started to climb down a very steep canyon area, fell a little, and somehow got down to the bottom without seriously hurting himself.  He was able to call out to a friend who was hiking with him, who called 9-1-1.

The Altadena team responded and also received assistance from the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue team throughout the rescue, Deleon said.

Rescuers had to lower themselves about 500 feet just to reach him, according to Deleon, which took them many hours to do.  

"It took the better part of the night to get someone safely to his location," Deleon said.

Deleon, who was standing at the command post at Pinecrest Gate, said that the hiker was so close that he could see the rescuers head lamps as they worked to lower themselves to him.

Once they reached him with a safe anchored rope, they were able to climb back out with him in minutes, Deleon said.

The hiker was not seriously injured and did not require medical care, he added.

Chris July 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I agree with Otis! Do only dumb-asses hike .... Or even walk?
Victor Caballero July 15, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Are these so called hikers fined for stupidity? If there are signs posted you enter at your own risk... should they even be rescued? hmmm
Judy Bass July 15, 2012 at 05:44 PM
I agree with the comments about the hiker's lack of common sense, but let's be clear here - he was not in a county park, he was in the Angeles National Forest. The boundary of Eaton Canyon park is a good half mile south of the waterfall.
Judy Bass July 15, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Sorry, I misspoke. The northern boundary of Eaton Canyon park is about 1/2 mile south of the bridge, a full mile before the waterfall. Yes, you can get to the falls by way of the EC Nature Center, but you leave the park and enter NF land first.
Joe Rodriguez July 16, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I am with Otis. The wife and I were just talking about all these stupid hikers with zero common sense.


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