A 75-year-old man who went missing while hiking on Baldy Mountain over the weekend was found alive on Tuesday.
Jin Chung, 75, of North Hollywood, was found responsive and taken to a hospital for treatment, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.
He suffered a leg injury and some weather-related wounds, officials said. Chung first went missing around 6 a.m. Sunday.
He had gone to the mountain with two other people before they split up. They planned to meet again at 2 p.m., but Chung never returned, officials said.
Both air and ground crews searched for Chung, and at times officials said helicopters were forced to land because of high winds over the weekend. Ground crews were also suspended from time to time due to the ice.
The area has already claimed two lives in the past 30 days, while two other tourists went missing on Tuesday, including British actor Julian Sands, 65, and Robert Gregory, 61, from Hawthorne.
Authorities have warned the public of icy hiking trails and dangerous winter conditions along the Duck Mountain hiking trails.
“Winds were 50 to 60 miles per hour at the top of Baldy Mountain,” said Alex Tardy of the National Weather Service. “Some of the windiest spots in that area, in the foothills of the San Gabriels, were as high as 75.”
Although Chung has been located, two others are still missing in the area. Sands went missing on Jan. 13 after going to the Baldy Bowl, and Gregory went missing after he was believed to be hiking near Crystal Lake.
Local hikers have reported that winter conditions seem more treacherous this year.
“The conditions this year are the coldest I’ve ever seen,” said Doug Hardy, a hiker from Ontario. “It’s harder to get off. If you’re going up a 45-degree sheet of ice, when you turn around and look down, it’s like a person, you can’t knock that down.”
Authorities are warning the public to “avoid dangerous mountain areas such as Mount Baldy at this time.”
“Many hikers, both experienced and novice, underestimate the steep terrain, unpredictable weather and high winds that can be found in our mountain regions,” officials warn. “Exposure to the elements and falls are adding to Baldy Mountain’s death toll, and avalanche danger is prolonging rescue efforts.”
A high wind watch will remain in effect from Wednesday into Thursday, which authorities say could hamper the continued search for Sands and Gregory.
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