By Mary O’KEEFE
Montrose Search and Rescue team members responded on Sunday night to a call concerning a missing hiker in the Angeles National Forest.
Scott Gossard, 45, of Anaheim left Friday at 8 a.m. to hike to Triplet Rocks, one of the least accessible peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains. He was found safe Monday afternoon after surviving snow and white out conditions.
Gossard is an experienced hiker and mountain climber.
He had taken off later than he had planned on Friday morning to climb to Twin Peaks and Triplet Rocks, said Sgt. Ken Binkley of the CV Sheriff’s
“It is a long and strenuous hike,” said Binkley. “There is no real trail.”
As Gossard was hiking up Friday it began to get dark so he decided to settle in for the night.
“He had all the equipment needed to spend the night,” Binkley said.
It rained early Saturday morning. Gossard told rescuers that he was on a mountaintop and when he awoke it had snowed. It was white out conditions all day.
Because of the intensity of the hike there were times
when Gossard had to crawl
over rocks and through the chaparral vegetation. It was during this time he thinks he lost his map, Binkley added.
He did not have a global positioning system. Gossard assumed that someone would report him missing and a team would be looking for him.
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station received a call about the missing hiker late Sunday night. They sent a patrol unit up to locate his vehicle however they didn’t find it.
“They had gone up to the 49 mile marker. His car was parked beyond that at mile marker 58,” Binkley said.
The searchers went out again and requested air support and found his vehicle. They set up a command center near where his vehicle was found and sent out the first Montrose Search and Rescue team consisting of members Linda Daniels, Doug Cramoline and Mike Leum.
The plan was to have three teams head into the area
from different directions. The first team was airlifted to
Twin Peaks and they began to search.
“We always call out while we are searching,” Binkley said.
They called out and Gossard answered. He and the team were airlifted back to the command base. The hiker was scratched and a little dehydrated.
“He said he should have left earlier and that he would never do this [hike] again without having a friend with him,” Binkley said.