A hiker was rescued by helicopter this week as she clung to her ice ax after sliding 50 feet down a snow-covered peak near the Mt. Baldy Summit, authorities said.
On Monday, Jennifer Fujita, 34, of Irvine, and her brother were hiking down Devil’s Backbone Trail at an elevation of 9,200 feet when she suddenly lost her balance and skidded down the rocky ridge, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Fujita reacted quickly and lodged her ice ax into the steep slope to stop her slide. Meanwhile, her brother called 911 for help.
A sheriff’s helicopter found Fujita and her brother on the snowcapped slope. But Fujita was in “a high-risk area,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.
Battling wind gusts up to 45 mph, the helicopter hovered over Fujita as Fire Capt. Eric Spies was lowered 130 feet to reach her. Spies then disconnected Fujita’s backpack, which fell hundreds of feet, authorities said. He placed Fujita into a rescue harness, and the pair were hoisted into the helicopter.
The sheriff’s department tweeted dramatic video of the rescue showing Spies strapping Fujita into the harness.
“Give me a bear hug, OK?” he said.
They were flown to Cow Canyon Saddle, where a medical team was waiting to treat them.
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