Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team Rescue Log for May, 2012

Posted 6/7/12 – During the month of May, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue (SMSR) responded to a dozen calls for assistance.   A selected set of calls are described below.

Missing Hikers, Big Santa Anita Canyon: The Team was notified just before 1:30 in the morning of 2 missing hikers.  The hikers had left late in the day to hike to a, “waterfall above Pasadena.”  The hikers were quickly located near Robert’s Camp and it was found that one of the individuals had fallen attempting to walk out in the dark and suffered an injury above the right eye.  Team members provided initial medical care before handing over care to Sierra Madre Fire Department paramedics.

Missing Hiker, Anza Borrego State Park: Personnel from SMSR joined personnel from Montrose Search and Rescue as part of the LASD’s Underground SAR unit to respond to the Arroyo Tapiado mudcave area in Anza Borrego to assist the San Diego Sheriff’s Department in the recovery of a hiker missing since Easter weekend.  A more detailed write up of this operation was published previously in the Patch.

Injured Hikers, Big Santa Anita Canyon: Sierra Madre Search and Rescue responded to reports of an injured hiker below Chantry Flat.  Upon arriving on scene, it was determined that there were two hikers, both suffering significant injuries from a fall.  The subjects were stabilized on scene and transported by helicopter to the hospital.  It was determined that one of the hikers had fallen while attempting to carry the other hiker out.  While self-rescue may be possible, seeking assistance is often the best course of action since moving a seriously injured party may make the situation worse.

Critical Missing, Verdugo Hills: SMSR joined other Los Angeles County Sheriff’s search and rescue teams along with the FBI, Burbank Police Department and the LAPD in the search for a missing FBI agent.  The search efforts extended over several days with no sign of the subject being located.  The missing individual remains missing at this time.

Missing Hikers, Switzer Falls: SMSR provided mutual aid assistance to the Montrose Search and Rescue Team in the search for a pair of missing hikers between the Switzers picnic area and the JPL Arroyo Seco area.  Field crews worked throughout the night searching before locating the hikers just before dawn.

Besides responding to various emergency calls, SMSR supported the annual Mt. Wilson Trail Race on Memorial Day Weekend.  One of the premier trail races in the country, the MWTR is a Sierra Madre tradition that the Team looks forward to every year.

With school getting out for the summer and temperatures on the rise, outdoor recreationalists are reminded that being prepared is crucial for a safe trip into the mountains.  Always carry the 10 essentials and make sure someone knows where you’ve gone and when you will return.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Hiker Plan is a good way to document your plans.

For 60 years the all-volunteer Sierra Madre Search and Rescue team has been responding to calls for help in the local mountains and beyond. Funded entirely by private donations, SMSR provides a range of public programs on wilderness safety in addition to its search and rescue activities. The Team never charges for any of its services.

For more information, including how to arrange a wilderness safety demonstration for your school or group, visit