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Injured hikers being removed from Mt. Baldy on stretchers

December 24, 2012 |  2:44 pm

Two hikers who were injured on Mt. Baldy on Sunday are unable to walk and are being hauled out on one-wheeled stretchers across the rough mountain terrain, a San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department official said.

Authorities had hoped to airlift the two out, but aviation crews who flew into the area Monday morning determined it was too dangerous, said Deputy Robert Whiteside.

A thick fog was coming and going in the area over the weekend but settled into place around the Sierra Club's San Antonio Ski Hut on as rescuers planned to evacuate the hikers. The lodge is 8,300 feet up the mountain's southern slope.

With an airlift out of the question, the rescuers -- volunteers from the Los Angeles and San Bernardino County sheriff's and fire departments and the Mt. Baldy Fire Department -- put the hikers on stretchers equipped with one wheel each and set out for the nearest road, about two miles away.

Whiteside said the only information available about the hikers is that they are both males and were in separate parties when injured Sunday afternoon. One suffered injured ribs, the other an injured hip. One of them had fallen between 30 and 40 feet into the Baldy Bowl, Whiteside said.

Both men were rescued Sunday afternoon and spent the night in the ski hut. They are expected to reach the road Monday afternoon, where a waiting ambulance will take them to a hospital for further treatment.

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-- Joseph Serna

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