Icy, winter weather conditions on Mt. Baldy in California have prompted authorities to issue an urgent warning for hikers considering making the trek.
The warning comes as two hikers fell to their deaths and one hiker – identified as actor Julian Sands – has gone missing.
Crews working with San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team responded to 14 rescue missions on Mt. Baldy and the surrounding area in just the last four weeks.
“Please know the current conditions on Mt Baldy are adverse and extremely dangerous. Due to the high winds, the snow has turned to ice making hiking extremely dangerous,” authorities warned.
On January 18, officials identified A Room with a View actor Julian Sands as the person reported missing during a hike in Mount Baldy, which is located in the San Gabriel Mountains in San Bernardino County. However, extreme weather condition and an avalanche threat hindered search efforts. Sands is reportedly missing since January 13.
Earlier this month, a hiker slid an estimated 500 to 700 feet down Baldy Bowl’s icy slope. The victim was identified as Crystal Paul Gonzalez-Landas, an avid hiker. Several others rushed to help her after seeing her fall. She was airlifted to a hospital where she died.
In December, two hikers and two dogs on a hiking trail slid an estimated 20 feet, according to officials with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Where is Mt Baldy?
Mt Baldy is located below Mount San Antonio in San Antonio Canyon. It is surrounded by Angeles National Forest. Mt Baldy is 12 miles north of Ontario.
The Sheriff’s Department issued the following safety tips for anyone heading to the area:
- It is necessary to pay attention to all posted warning signs
- Look up weather conditions (both current and forecasted) for the area before planning any hiking trip
- Make sure you have proper gear and training and are properly prepared for alpine conditions
- Hike with a partner
- Bring a tracking or GPS device
- Make sure your cellphone has a full charge and you have charged extra power backup
- Let someone know where you’re going and give details of the trail
- “Most importantly- If you don’t know, please don’t go!”