On Sunday afternoon, hikers were airlifted off the Three Tees Trail — a high-altitude trail that links Icehouse Canyon to Manker Flat at the base of the Mount Baldy Ski Area via Timber Mountain, Telegraph Peak, and Thunder Mountain.
During the warm months, this route is a tough leg-buster, but it isn’t necessarily technical. But it’s winter, and that means snow and ice and strong winds.
Fortunately, the hikers in this case were prepared for the winter conditions — they had microspikes, ice axes, and helmets and were experienced in using them … but sometimes, even all the right gear and prep can’t save you from a spill.
According to a post on one of the hiker’s Instagram accounts, between Timber Saddle and Telegraph Peak, the trail got exceptionally icy. One of the hikers fell and slid slowly downhill. He hit a tree and spun around, picking up speed. From the post:
“He fell well over 10 stories hitting everything imaginable. Trees, boulders … causing a rock slide that followed him down into a gorge. It was a traumatic sight to behold. Sheriffs confirmed that it’s not a fall people usually come back from.”
With help, the hiker was able to climb back up to the trail, but he had lost all his gear in the fall and was hiking too slowly due to injuries. Another hiker radioed for help with a Garmin inReach Mini and after several hours, San Bernardino County Sheriffs airlifted the thankful group out.
There have not been official updates yet but it seems like all three hikers made it out and are in good shape. We’re happy to hear it!
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#LASD Air Rescue 5 hoist rescue of two patients, Mt Baldy Road, Angeles Forest. LASD SEB Tactical Medics inserted to conduct rescue. Airlifted to trauma center. Saving lives priority 1. pic.twitter.com/4qrdKBSd26
— SEB (@SEBLASD) December 4, 2022