New Year's weekend is a magical time when human intelligence is diminished by excessive revelry, a time when normally sensible people find themselves in handcuffs following encounters with lawmen on highways or inside barrooms and clubs. (It must be something in the Champagne.) Though plenty of these folks could qualify for an Einstein award, this year, we'd like to honor a different type of genius.
Here's to the weekend warrior from Mission Viejo
who decided Sunday it was a good idea to go for a leisurely stroll in our local mountains at a time when mother nature was raging and temperatures were plummeting. Perhaps the worst thing about the unidentified 30-year-old man who became stranded on the summit of Mount Baden-Powell
was that he dragged two innocent dogs up the mountain with him.
On Monday, the Antelope Valley Times
reported the man and his two canine companions, a Golden Retriever and brown Chow mix, went off trail and slid down a 30-foot ice chute. The Palmdale
station of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
was called (presumably by another man who was hiking with the group) and commenced a rescue attempt.
But if the would-be Jeremiah Johnson was hoping for favorable conditions conducive to an easy salvation, he was even stupider than we assume. With snow falling, visibility was down to 50 yards–helicopters were a no go. According to an LASD press release, the rescue effort was bolstered by the Antelope Valley Search and Rescue Team, an all- volunteer group comprising EMTs and paramedics specializing in mountaineering and survival skills.
Thanks to their skills, Mr. Mission Viejo was retrieved from the chute within a few hours of the initial call and spared a chilly night on the mountain. Rescuers provided first aid and the wayward hiker walked out of the remote area on his own two feet.
Sheriff's Search and Rescue Commander John Johnson had a few words of wisdom for those who are probably too smart to need it.
“This is a perfect example of why it's important to pay attention to weather predictions when planning a hike,” he said.
Thankfully, the dogs are okay.