Los Angeles’ first responders received a 911 call on Wednesday. The call reported a couple and their two dogs had been stranded on a snowbound mountain in Los Padres National Forest for 14-days.
The Alamo Mountain
The Alamo Mountain is a 17.8-mile loop trail. It is described to be suitable for all skill level hikers. The trail is primarily used for mountain biking and off-road driving, but camping is also an offered amenity. The mountain is described as best for visits between November until March. However, extreme weather can impact travelers’ plans.
Spanning 4 days, a series of powerful storms dumped snow on Alamo Mountain, ultimately preventing the couple from driving out.
The couple hiked until they were snowed in near the 7,400-foot peak that is approximately 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Ultimately, a downed tree on one side of their truck and a couple of feet of snow on the other side, left the couple stranded, and making the rescue mission more difficult for first responders.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy, Charles Miranda, helped rescue the couple, both in their mid-30s, and their two dogs. He reports that they ran out of food and water. Luckily, the couple was found sunburned, hungry, and tired, but with no major health issues.
The couple hoisted safely aboard a rescue helicopter at 5:15 P.M. on Wednesday, were said to have allegedly underestimated the local weather forecasts.
“Typically the news kind of exaggerates the coming storm and you get a little sprinkle,” Miranda said. “I think they underestimated what was going to happen and they got dumped on.”
Even though the Los Padres National Forest is not far from Interstate 5, the terrain is remote and rugged. A majority of the access points are dirt roads that do not get plowed during winter months.
This is not the first rescue job that has resulted from this winter storm in Los Padres National Forest. On the first day of the storm, a 24-year-old camper was rescued after calling for help. Initially, deputies could not get through the deep snow, even in 4-wheel drive vehicles with tank-like treads. This illustrates the severity of the weather in the area and the importance of being prepared on trips like this.