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Two Rescued from Mt San Gorgonio after hiker slides on ice

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:17 pm
by Cy Kaicener
Two rescued from Mt San Gorgonio after hiker slips on icy trail, slides about 150 feet (Desert Sun) ... 652167002/

Re: Two Rescued from Mt San Gorgonio after hiker slides on i

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:09 pm
by zippetydude
At 8000'...Hmmm, on SF and Forsee that's right at the start where it's pretty flat...I'm thinking Vivian, but even on Vivian isn't 8000" somewhere around Halfway Camp? That's flat also. Maybe they're talking about that point above Halfway where things get steep and treacherous...seems like a likely suspect. If any info comes to the surface as far as where he had the slide, that could be instructional for the rest of us. In any case, I'm glad he was (seemingly) okay and that the rescues were uneventful. Sometimes bad luck happens, especially when ICE is involved, and I personally have found myself sliding when the whole carpet beneath me released and I just drifted with the snow bank. I only went 30 or 40 feet and never gathered speed, but sliding on top of a small release is not guaranteed to be anything less than riding an avalanche, so I was lucky. I was at about 11,00 feet on the Jepson ascent if anyone was wondering. So, good job getting out there, good job surviving the unpredictability of the wilderness, and glad you're alive! If the person involved sees this post, please post a first hand account for everyone else's instruction.


Re: Two Rescued from Mt San Gorgonio after hiker slides on i

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:08 am
by Ed
Zip, could have been that stretch on the Vivian Creek trail where the drainage narrows, and the trail rises and narrows, traversing a steep slope well above the creek, though not by 150', trees galore below. A little below 8,000 feet, and short of Halfway. Certainly can be treacherous when covered with snow, if you don't have trekking poles and microspikes.

I've had several spooky experiences with avalanche danger, none like yours, but I can well imagine it. Sounds like one of those experiences which happen too rapidly to be scared, but very unsettling when you look back on it.

Re: Two Rescued from Mt San Gorgonio after hiker slides on i

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:28 am
by Ellen
Howdy All :)

When I try to load the article, I have to take a survey before reading the article :?

I've been following this story on the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association FB page, the San Gorgonio SAR FB page and San Bernardino County Sheriff's FB page..

This time, the newspaper actually has the right trail and mountain :wink: The couple hiked up Forsee trail towards Jackstraw springs. According to the fiancé:

"We were on our way to Jacksaw Creek and were about 5 hiking hours up. My fiancé set his backpack down right before he fell so it is still against the a tree at the site of the fall. She ran up the mountain a little bit to a flat spot. She is not on her leash but is wearing the blue harness and pink collars that are in the photo." Jennifer reports that she is uninjured, but that David has a few broken ribs, minor internal bleeding, a hurt knee, and a good bump on his head."

Their dog Stella ran off during the hoist rescue. Volunteers and first responders (searching on their own time) found Stella the next day and reunited the dog with the couple. I love happy endings.

Miles of smiles,

Re: Two Rescued from Mt San Gorgonio after hiker slides on i

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:47 am
by zippetydude
Thanks for filling in the blanks Ellen. Must have had some freeze/thaw ice over there during the recent warm days and cold nights. A few broken ribs is horrible, I feel for the poor guy. I broke 4 ribs a year and a half ago, and the first 24 hours you feel like you got a punch in the solar plexus every few minutes - your diaphragm just seizes up and you quit breathing. The scary part is since you didn't make yourself stop breathing, you can't make yourself start again either. Just gotta wait it out. Anyway, yes, I am glad for the happy ending as well!


Re: Two Rescued from Mt San Gorgonio after hiker slides on i

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:21 pm
by Ed
Thanks for the illumination, Ellen. I suppose someday I will have to join the FB universe, but am still resisting it. The thought of sliding 150' on hard snow and being stopped by a tree is definitely unappealing. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to have been a head first slide. I am always interested in what equipment people had, but SAR accounts rarely address that. Stella probably exited the scene because she did not like the chopper noise and wind blast. It is indeed a happy ending, with Stella found. Blessings to the people who searched for her.

Re: Two Rescued from Mt San Gorgonio after hiker slides on i

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:51 pm
by Cy Kaicener
From facebook
Stella is Back Home—

After two hikers were rescued from the San Gorgonio Mountains on Monday by Sheriff’s Aviation, it was discovered their dog Stella had run off and was left behind.
Off-duty San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Teams, off-duty San Bernardino County Fire personnel, mountain community residents, and even one of the off-duty rescuer’s dog, Kronos, all pulled together to find Stella.
After hiking several miles, Stella was located yesterday afternoon. They heard her yelping and barking before they could see her. One of the residents hiked up the mountain about 250ft above the trail to where Stella was at and was able to control slide with her in his arms back down to the trail.
Today, Stella was reunited with her owners Jennifer Graham and David Westberg, and all were as happy as can be. A great ending to a scary ordeal.
This is a great example of the dedication of our volunteer personnel, San Bernardino County Fire personnel, and our residents have for their community. Locating Stella was done completely on their own time aside from their hard work as volunteers and first responders. We are privileged to work alongside such great individuals. Thank you for all you do for our communities.


SUMMARY: On Monday, January 21st, at approximately 2:30 pm, the victims, David Westberg and Jennifer Graham were hiking at the 7,800' level when Westberg slipped off an icy trail and slid approximately 150' down a steep slope. He came to rest against a tree, which prevented him from sliding further. Injured in the fall and unable to climb upslope, Westberg called 911 for help.

Sheriff's Helicopters 40King4 and Air Rescue 307 responded to the area and located Westberg and Graham. Due to the steep, rugged and icy terrain, crews determined a hoist rescue would need to be conducted. 40King4 lowered a San Bernardino County Fire Fighter/Paramedic down to Westberg, who accessed Westberg's injuries and prepared him for the hoist rescue. 40King4 then hoisted Westberg and transported him to awaiting EMS personnel.

Air Rescue 307 lowered a firefighter/paramedic down to Graham, who accessed Graham's injuries and prepared her for the hoist rescue. 40King4 then hoisted Graham and transported her to awaiting EMS personnel. Due to nightfall, the crew of 40King4 had to conduct the last hoist evolution of the mission utilizing night vision goggles.

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 covered with snow and ice. Without the proper training and equipment, this type of activity can lead to serious injury or death.