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Rescue teams head into fourth day of search for missing hiker

December 8, 2010 |  2:00 pm

Search and rescue teams from five counties continued Wednesday to scour Mt. Baldy's canyons and trails for signs of missing hiker Michelle Yu, who was last spotted near a trail marker Saturday.

Yu, 49, of Venice is a veteran outdoorswoman who has been taking weekly hikes up Mt. Baldy's steep trails in recent months to train for a hiking competition in South America, said Arden Wiltshire, a San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman. She hasn't been heard from since early Saturday, when she signed a log book at the Sierra Hut Trail head indicating that she intended to hike a rigorous 6-mile loop.

Searchers initially focused on the areas adjacent to Sierra Hut Trail. But as the search enters its fourth day, rescuers are trekking through an area called Devil's Backbone and other forks that cross over into the Los Angeles County side of the mountain, Wilshire said.

Though there has been no sighting of Yu, she is considered a fit and experienced outdoor enthusiast and was carrying some food and water with her. Regular fall rains have also replenished parched streams, another plus, Wiltshire said.

"Right now there's a good probability she will be found alive,'' Wiltshire said. "So we are doing everying in our power to find her.”

About 35 people, including teams from San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura and San Diego counties are taking part in the search. A helicopter is ferrying teams up the mountains and looking for any signs of the hiker.

"It's anyone's guess what's happened to her,'' Wiltshire said. "We just don't know."

RELATED:

Search for missing Mt. Baldy hiker continues into third day

Rescue teams search for woman who vanished during Mt. Baldy hike

-- Catherine Saillant

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