Missing 75-year-old hiker found alive on Mt. Baldy in California

A 75-year-old man who went missing while hiking on Mount Baldy over the weekend has been found alive on Tuesday.

Jin Chung, 75, of North Hollywood, was found responsive and transported to a hospital for treatment, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.

He had suffered a leg injury and some weather-related wounds, officials said. Chung was first reported missing around 6 a.m. Sunday morning.

He had carpooled to the mountain with two other people before the parties separated. They planned to meet again at 14, but Chung never returned, officials said.

Both air and ground crews searched for Chung, and at times officials said helicopters had to be grounded because of gusty winds over the weekend. Ground crews also suspended operations at times due to icy conditions.

The area had already claimed the lives of two people in the past 30 days, while two other hikers are missing on Tuesday, including British actor Julian Sands, 65, and Robert Gregory, 61, of Hawthorne.

Authorities warned the public of icy hiking trails and dangerous winter conditions along Mt. Bady hiking trails.

“Up in Mount Baldy, winds were 50-60 miles an hour,” said Alex Tardy of the National Weather Service. “Some of the windiest spots in that area, in the foothills of the San Gabriels, were as high as 75.”

While Chung has been found safe, two others are still missing in the area. Sands was reported missing on Jan. 13 after heading to the Baldy Bowl, and Gregory was reported missing after he was believed to be hiking near Crystal Lake.

Local hikers noted that winter conditions this year appear to be more treacherous.

“The conditions this year are the coldest I’ve ever seen,” said Doug Hardy, a hiker from Ontario. “It’s a lot harder to come down. If you’re going up the 45-degree sheet of ice, when you turn around and look down, it’s like man, you can’t screw it up.”

Authorities are warning the public to “avoid dangerous mountain areas such as Mt. Baldy at this time.”

“Many hikers, experienced or novice, underestimate the steep terrain, unpredictable weather and high winds that present themselves in our mountain regions,” officials warn. “Exposure to the elements and falls contribute to Mt. Baldy’s growing mortality rate, and the risk of avalanches prolongs rescue efforts.”

A high wind watch will remain in effect Wednesday through Thursday, which authorities say could hinder the continued search for Sands and Gregory.

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