With the temperature here in L.A. heating up rapidly now, it can be easy to forget that a lot of the mountains north of here still have a pretty significant snowpack. This winter was one of the wettest we’ve had in a long time, and snow is still melting all over the higher elevations – which is how Marcia Rasmussen found herself in a bit of trouble for a few hours.
While crossing a “snow bridge” – a pack of hardened snow atop a running stream or river, Marcia Rasmussen fell through the bridge and into the water below. Although the stream she was crossing was relatively small, the force was still strong enough to suck her through the the ice tunnel and over a waterfall before she found some branches to grab onto.
She was stuck there beneath the snow for three hours while she painstakingly clawed a small hole up through the snow above her. It wasn’t big enough for her to climb out, but she did manage to toss her hydration pack through in a hopeful signal to nearby hikers – even though she hadn’t seen anyone else on the trail that day.
Eventually someone did find her and helped to dig her out, and she told her tale on the LA Times Blog last night. It’s a gripping read and a great lesson for hikers headed to places where snow is still on the trail – and includes this video of the collapsed snow bridge one of her rescuers took:
Read the story, learn some lessons – and ignore all the armchair outdoorsmen in the Times Blog comments who think they know better than everyone else.