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Hikers missing in Eaton Canyon

Discussion in 'Accidents and Near Misses' started by tom wetherell, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. tom wetherell

    tom wetherell tom(w)

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    Watch live ! http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Eaton-Canyon-Hikers-Go-Missing---282119881.html

    From adventure journal:

    A group of between 11 and 16 people has been missing in the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles since yesterday evening, and search and rescue crews are waiting for fog to clear this morning to resume their hunt for the party. So many hikers have underestimated the hazards of Eaton Canyon near Pasadena that the Forest Service has closed sections of the upper gorge to prevent further deaths and injuries.

    The Huntington Park church group headed into Eaton on Sunday morning, carrying ropes and helmets, with canyoneering as its goal, and was due to return by 6 p.m. (Sunset is 4:53 p.m.) When families still hadn’t heard from the group at 9:40, they reported them missing, and authorities began searching 20 minutes later.

    Two hikers who became separated from the party were able to walk out on their own uninjured.

    After weeks of clear skies in Southern California, coastal marine layer fog has moved into canyons in the mornings and evenings. The National Weather Service expects the sun to burn away the fog by 10 a.m., allowing helicopters to continue the search from the air.
  2. skunkteeth

    skunkteeth

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  3. tom wetherell

    tom wetherell tom(w)

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    Fascinating to watch this rescue.
    When I first tuned in the news helicopter could not locate the "hikers" and had to wait for the return of the rescue helicopter. The audio feed was direct from the camera woman in the air, and I'm amazed they were streaming it.

    The group was found on what appeared to be a steep scree slope near the canyon floor. Only one apparent injury, an ankle or foot... Although an AP report said they had extra clothing and such they were mostly in shorts... so a cold night for them.

    The efficiency of the rescue crew was impressive.

    Glad it was a happy ending!

    -t
  4. AW~

    AW~

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    dummies? They(possibly spanish speakers) were on a 'killer' trail the forest service knows to be unsafe but thinks a sign somewhere in english only, is enough safety for a 'killer' trail. Lets not forget that the CAC agreed with the redesignation from wild mountainside to unsafe trail.

    Any one willing to disagree they wont be cited? The first public test case and the forest service is already exposed as having no clothes. And had someone been injured, that spells lawsuit. See DeSoto vs the angeles forest that the forest service own lawyers warned the forest about opening legal liability.
  5. skunkteeth

    skunkteeth

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    I think they went down the canyoneering route, not the razorback trail. They were rescued from around the middle section. They might have not even been in the closure area?

    Last I have heard there are no signs about the closure coming down the canyoneering route. So it is legitimate that they may not have known about the closure. They are dummies for a multitude of other reasons not related to the closure.
  6. Sonny Lawrence

    Sonny Lawrence

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    I watched the news live feed also. I am unsure of the details of the event today other than what has been reported. It will be interesting to see interviews later today to learn more of what happened.

    To address AW~'s comments: I believe the warning signs are also in Spanish. However, the Los Angeles has over 100 languages spoken in various communities. It is not possible to have written signage for everyone. The warning signs also show pictures in an attempt to convey the message of danger visually. From my take on the news video today, the subjects were just below Henninger Flats. This is the upper canyon with respect to the canyoneering route typically used. This is quite far above the closure area. My guess is that all the people involved today were there legally. I could not see any trail near them. Please note that the Razorback trail, which is the main access point people have used to gain access to the lower canyon, is a couple miles from Henninger Flats. I am on the board of directors for the Coalition of American Canyoneers (CAC). I have been involved with the National Forest since June concerning Eaton Canyon. I do not know what the reference is about "redesignation from wild mountainside to unsafe trail." The CAC was never in favor of the closure. Our efforts in June resulted in it being postponed for a month. That at least allowed us to meet with the National Forest and make our concerns known. Since then, the CAC has sponsored two canyon cleanup events resulting in 95 person-days of effort under a special use permit. We are actively working on a canyoneering permit system. Hopefully is will be approved soon.

    Erik B., ratagonia, hank moon and 5 others like this.
  7. AW~

    AW~

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    Its to early to say for sure....but the original statement was
    "were going to rappel down one of the waterfalls". This got changed to canyoneering and waterfalls by the media....probably based on other people's statements. Now per the AP its back to being "tired from rappelling down a waterfall"....they thought it too dangerous to do the remaining hike out in the dark.

    How did they call for help? From my reading, the person from the group who called for help was below the last waterfall in phone range.

    I read that at least some of them were airlifted to Henninger Flats....thats per Altadena Point, whose source was scanner communication. Then they were driven to the nature center.
  8. AW~

    AW~

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    Im just saying what the perception is. There is more than one group backtracking their San Gabriel Mountains Monument involvement as well :)
    By saying you want a permit system, thats an agreement('compromise'...whatever) that the closure is valid, just that canyoneers should be left alone. Its not an unreasonable stance. Indeed the old policy was reaching the point of absurdity, although I still believe that at worst Eaton was a unique situation. That and I recognize most members of the CAC want to go ahead with the permits.
  9. AW~

    AW~

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    http://www.dailynews.com/general-ne...-seventh-day-adventist-hikers-in-eaton-canyon

    "A sheriff’s helicopter spotted the hikers around 9:30 a.m. They were in a canyon approximately three miles north of the Eaton Canyon bridge, Paige said."
    "Deputies said the group of adults and teens set out Sunday at about 9:30 a.m. and were expected back by the evening.
    “They started from Eaton Canyon Nature Center, hiked up Henninger Flats, went down the canyon and were supposed to hike out,” Paige said."
  10. Ram

    Ram

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  11. Cameron

    Cameron Long Tall Texan by birth

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