Mountain Views News, Combined edition

Combined Edition

Inside this Week:

SM Community Calendar:
SM Calendar of Events

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side
… This and That
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Pasadena – Altadena:

Pasadena Community Calendar:
Local City Meetings
Altadena Crime Blotter
Pet of the Week

Altadena · So. Pasadena · San Marino:

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:

Education & Youth:
Christopher Nyerges

Best Friends:
Happy Tails
Katnip News!
SGV Humane Society

The Good Life:
Out to Pastor
Senior Happenings

Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

F. Y. I. :

Section B:

Arts and More:
Jeff's Book Pics
All Things
Family Matters
The Missing Page

Hail Hamilton
Rich Manieri
John L. Micek
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

Legal Notices (5):

Legal Notices (6):

F. Y. I. :

Jeff Brown
Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Marc Garlett
Hail Hamilton
Lori A. Harris
Katie Hopkins
Chris Leclerc
Christopher Nyerges
Rev. James Snyder

Recent Issues:
Issue 14
Issue 13
Issue 12
Issue 11
Issue 10
Issue 9
Issue 8
Issue 7
Issue 6
Issue 5
Issue 4

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1




On the evening of Saturday, April 6th search and 
rescue crews were dispatched to the San Gabriel 
mountains near Mount Baldy, to search for two 
overdue hikers, Eric Desplinter and Gabrielle 
Wallace. On Wednesday, April 10th a crew from 
the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team found 
the footprints that turned the “search” operation 
into a “rescue.” 

Sierra Madre had been assisting the San Bernardino 
County West Valley Search and Rescue 
Team since Monday, sending searchers each day 
to comb the Cucamonga Peak area. Search crews 
also responded from San Bernardino, Riverside, 
Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and Kern Counties. 

Throughout the search, high winds prevented helicopters 
from inserting search teams. As a result, 
teams had to hike several miles uphill to start their 
search assignments each day. Because of the time 
spent hiking to and from the search area, it was 
decided on Tuesday to request crews that could 
spend the night in the field. On Wednesday, one 
crew from Sierra Madre and another crew with 
members from China Lake Mountain Rescue and 
West Valley Search and Rescue took overnight assignments. 

The Sierra Madre crew was prepared to work 
through the night, traverse snow and ice, negotiate 
waterfalls and navigate long rappels through 
a canyon. Along with their standard equipment 
they carried ice axes, crampons, sleeping bags, 
bivy sacks, food, 400 feet of rope and wetsuits. 
They were heavy packs. One rescuer said, “I think 
‘slog’ was the word of the day.”

Their assignment was to search Cucamonga Canyon. 
One rescuer said when they stood at the top 
of the canyon, “It looked inviting. You can see the 
city in front of you, but you can’t see the 85 foot 
waterfall between you and the exit at the bottom.”

Although Cucamonga Canyon is on a south facing 
slope free of snow and ice, it’s rough terrain. 
Rescuers described an “ocean of rock” with crumbling 
footing, and uneven, unstable terrain. 

Late in the afternoon the crew found a clear bootprint. 
Since they were far from any trails, this was 
significant. Soon they found a second set of fresh 
tracks heading down canyon, which they followed 
for over a mile. They reported this information to 
the command post, and a helicopter was launched 
to fly the canyon to look for the missing couple.

The rescuers described listening anxiously to the 
radio traffic from the helicopter. At first the helicopter 
crew reported spotting a campfire and two 
people, but it wasn’t until they confirmed they 
were alive that the rescuers celebrated. One rescuer 
recounts, “If the water in the river weren’t so 
loud, I’m sure they would’ve heard our screams of 
celebration down in the command post.” 

After Eric and Gabrielle were hoisted out of the 
canyon and flown back to the command post, 
both overnight search crews were also extracted 
by helicopter. 

As a long standing Sierra Madre Search and Rescue 
Team member explained, “Search and rescue 
calls can often be pretty routine, but every few 
years you get a call that tests the limits. These are 
the calls where all the training pays off. ALL of the 
teams and personnel involved in this search made 
this happen.”

While it is always incredibly rewarding to be 
on the crew that finds the missing hikers, Sierra 
Madre would like to recognize all the other 
search and rescue volunteers who helped bring 
this search to a happy ending. It is always great 
to work with neighboring teams and pitch in to 
the collective effort to bring the lost people home!



Story and Photos By Chuck Stoughton

On Tuesday, Councilman John Harabedian (center) began his second term as Mayor of 
Sierra Madre. The Council also elected Councilman John Capoccia as Mayor Pro Tem.

Celebrating the event are, left to right, Councilwoman Rachelle Arizmendi, Councilman 
Gene Goss, Harabedian, outgoing Mayor Denise Delmar and Councilman Capoccia.

Photo by L. Aguilar

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website:

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Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.604.4548