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Search & Rescue

Two hikers rescued after trapping themselves on cliff

August 23, 2019

MT. BALDY, Calif – On Thursday, August 22 about 5:25 p.m., Juan Delgado (age 20 of Wilmington) and Alejandra Vargas (age 21 of Long Beach) went hiking in the Mt Baldy area. As the two hikers were traversing the narrow trail known as “The Devil's Backbone”, they decided to climb down the steep cliffside and became stuck.

The couple called 911 and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s patrol helicopter 40K4 responded to the area. 40K4 quickly located the two hikers sitting on a narrow ledge of a steep cliffside approximately 150 feet down from the Devil's Backbone Trail.

The hikers appeared uninjured, but they were unable to climb back to the trail. Sheriff’s rescue helicopter Air Rescue 306 responded to the area to conduct a hoist rescue.

The combined Sheriff and County Fire crew of Air Rescue 306 conducted a “Pick-Off” hoist rescue to save the two hikers. Despite high winds, hot temperature and hazardous terrain, AR306 safely pulled the hikers from their ledge and into the helicopter. Delgado and Vargas were then transported to an awaiting ground deputy.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department would like to remind the public about the dangers of hiking in hazardous conditions such as steep, rugged, mountainous terrain. Without the proper training and equipment, this type of activity can lead to serious injury or death.

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