Search for actor Julian Sands on Mount Baldy continues by air

Dangerous snowy conditions on California's Mount Baldy have led to a pause in ground search operations for Julian Sands.
Posted at 7:58 PM, Jan 20, 2023

Sheriff's deputies in southern California are warning hikers to stay away from Mount Baldy, the famous snow-capped peak where British actor Julian Sands is missing.

"From what I understand, he left sometime that day for a hike, and when he did not return, his family reported him missing," said Gloria Huerta, spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The conditions are treacherous amid the heavy snowpack and low visibility. Rescuers paused their ground search Saturday because of the dangers.

"We have our own highly trained personnel having a difficult time," said Casey Cheshier with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Air Rescue 5. "We've had people slip and fall with crampons and ice axes and slip. Luckily their training kicked in, and nobody got hurt."

For now, helicopters and drones are the only ways to look for Sands.

He's known for his role in the 1985 film " A Room with a View" in which he played opposite Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Day Lewis, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. He's also appeared on TV shows "24", "Smallville" and "Crossbones."

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Sands was on the mountain just days after a woman died after falling some 500 feet down an icy bowl in the area. She's the second hiker in two weeks to die from injuries on Mount Baldy.

Rescuers are searching for another missing man in a separate hunt. He's been missing since Monday in the Crystal Lake area, 10 miles west of Mount Baldy.

Still, one group headed up the mountain Thursday, disregarding pleas to wait until later.

"I know it's dangerous," said Richard Rubinoff, a hiker and skier. "I got big skis, so hopefully they're stable. If I don't feel the conditions are worth it, than I just don't go."

"During this time frame, especially after a snow fall, there's going to be areas that you think are good to hike on, but next thing you know you're sliding, so recommend to come up in the spring time and summer time to hike Baldy," said Ole Ellingson, Mount Baldy ski area operator.

It's a plea that could save a life, as crews try to find a weather window to get back on the ground and keep hope alive that they can find Sands.

"The conditions are too dangerous. In fact, some of the more experienced hikers are getting themselves into trouble up there," Huerta said.

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