PLB Activation Near Baldy

January 22, 2008
Mount Baldy, Los Angeles County

RMRU was called early Monday to assist West Valley Search and Rescue on a search near Mount Baldy in San Bernardino County. A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) had been activated late Monday and weather (cloud cover and snow) had prevented a helicopter rescue.

Rick Maschek and Patrick McCurdy responded and assisted West Valey SAR, San Dimas Mountain Rescue, Sierra Madre Mountain Rescue, Altadena Mountain Rescue, and Montrose Search and Rescue with the search.

One of the initial teams in had voice contact within a few hours by following the GPS coordinates provided by the PLB via satellite. A quick medical check of the young backpacker showed that he was in good condition and all teams were soon hiking out with him.

This young man showed a great deal of common sense. He was well-prepared with overnight gear appropriate for the cold, snowy conditions. When cloud cover made him disoriented, he quickly admitted he was lost and activated his PLB. Most importantly, he pitched his tent, made camp, and stayed put.

PLBs are relatively new technology and, in this instance, it worked perfectly. I'm sure the rescued young man thinks it was worth every penny he paid for it. See here for more information on PLBs.

Photos by Rick Maschek

Patrick McCurdy on the hike up Ice House Canyon

All SAR teams now together, hiking the subject out.

Nate, the subject, on the left, and Susan McCreary of Sierra Madre Mountain Rescue on the right.