LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – One person was killed and four others were injured after falling down an ice chute while hiking in the Angeles National Forest Saturday.
The hikers were injured before 12:30 p.m. at the 7,000-foot mark, near Angeles Crest Highway and Highway 39, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue also responded along with county fire crews.
As of 2:30 p.m., three hikers had been transported to local hospitals for treatment, LACFD said. One hiker was pronounced dead at the scene.
One hiker reportedly suffered only minor injuries. Another was taken to the hospital in critical condition with injuries to his head and back. No names were released.
It was difficult for firefighters to get to the areas because several roads were damaged by the heavy rains.
KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen was outside the Antelope Valley Hospital where three of the hikers continued their recovery.
They were all part of a hiking club made up of friends and family.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department posted video of the rescue on Twitter.
The pilot was Michael Granek who spoke to Nguyen hours after the dramatic rescue.
“The real challenge is getting our paramedic deployed from the hoist to a very steep icy slope and the potential of that rescuer slipping and falling or hitting a tree or something like that,” Granek said.
The Sheriff’s Department said a female hiker slipped and fell in the Azusa Canyon area during an apparent avalanche. A man in the group attempted to grab her but that caused him to fall down the chute more than 200 feet to his death.
Moments later, at least 10 hikers also slipped down some icy slopes.
It just so happened that members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department were nearby for a training session. They were also able to quickly a dispatch a search and rescue group from Montrose.