Two backpackers were stuck in treacherous conditions in the California wilderness for three days after a storm moved in, police said.
A 39-year-old from Colorado and a 42-year-old from Los Angeles went on a multiday backpacking trip on Nov. 5 in the San Gorgonio Wilderness, the Yucaipa Police Department said in a news release on Nov. 15.
Two days into the trip, the two went off trail and into a steep canyon after becoming disoriented because of an approaching storm, police said.
One of the hikers then injured her foot so the two set up a tent and called for help through their inReach device, police said.
Their call for help was received at 3:18 p.m. But a rescue team didn’t reach the backpackers until 11:36 p.m. because of the “treacherous terrain, rain storm and near-freezing temperatures,” police said.
The backpackers could not be airlifted from the canyon that night because of the storm and extreme conditions, police said. Two other teams were also unable to reach them because of the storm.
The first rescue team stayed with the two and waited for the rain and snow storm to pass, police said,
After the cloud cover cleared overnight on Nov. 9, a helicopter was able to airlift them and the rescuers from the mountain the morning of Nov. 10, police said.
The San Gorgonio Wilderness is in San Bernardino County in the eastern San Bernardino Mountains.
This story was originally published November 16, 2022 12:52 PM.