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Search For Missing Actor Julian Sands, 65, Now Continues By Air In Mt. Baldy Area

Snow capped mountains are visible above a bank of clouds.
Mount Baldy, photographed here in 2019, has bee the site or more than 230 rescues and eight fatalities since 2017.
(Robyn Beck
AFP via Getty Images)
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Actor Julian Sands, 65, has now been lost for two weeks in the area near Mount Baldy where he went for a solo hike on Jan. 13.

Another hiker, Jin Chung, 75, who'd been missing since Sunday, was found earlier this week and taken to a hospital.

The Search For Sands Continues

A man with light-toned skin and light brown hair stands in front of a blue background. He has a square jaw and prominent Adam's apple.
Julian Sands photographed at the Venice Film Festival in 2019. He has now been missing since Jan. 13.
(Alberto Pizzoli
AFP via Getty Images)
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The actor best known for his lead role in A Room With A View (1985) was last seen heading out for a hike on Mount Baldy on Jan. 13.

Friends and family said Sands is an experienced mountaineer and enjoyed solo trips.

In a news release the sheriff's department reported:

"Numerous ground and air search efforts have taken place. As of this time, Mr. Sands has not been found and no evidence of his current location has been discovered. The search will continue, weather and ground conditions permitting."

Then Wednesday afternoon, officials said they were shifting the strategy in the search, focusing only on an aerial search.

The hope, they said, is that CHP officers working with high-tech tools can pinpoint where a more thorough ground search should take place.

Being Prepared For Hiking

While hiking is a popular activity in Southern California, it can also be dangerous. Recent rain and high winds have increased that danger.

At this time, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department "highly recommends hikers avoid hazardous mountainous areas, such as Mt. Baldy."

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Authorities said not only are conditions dangerous for hikers, they also put rescuers at risk.

How Often Are Rescues Needed On Mt. Baldy?

The department reports:

  • 233 missions on Mt. Baldy between 2017-2022
  • 8 fatalities
  • More than 27,000 hours by volunteer rescuers
  • More than 2,500 hours by sworn officers, including air support, totally $1.4 million in cost

Safety Tips

Be prepared!
  • Always plan for the worst and hope for the best. Carrying a few extra items can save your life. At a minimum, always carry the "10 Essentials":

      • Extra food and water (more than you think you'll need)
      • Extra clothing (more than you think you'll need)
      • Map and compass (know how to use them)
      • Flashlight or headlamp (plus extra batteries)
      • First-aid kit
      • Fire-starting kit
      • Pocket-knife or multi-tool
      • Signaling device (mirror or whistle)
      • Sunscreen and sunglasses
      • Emergency shelter (emergency blanket or bivy sack)
    1. MORE TIPS

      • Before you leave home, always tell a friend or family member where you plan on going and when you plan to return. Leave them with instructions on what to do if you don't return on time.
      • In case of an unexpected problem or emergency, always have a back-up plan for escaping the area safely. Also provide this back-up plan with your friends or family before you leave.
      • Although it's sometimes nice to be alone in the outdoors, it's always safest to go with at least one or two partners, especially if you're a novice or unfamiliar with the area.
      • Have the appropriate level of knowledge and experience for the adventure you plan to have. If you are a novice, please rely on a professional guide or at least a highly knowledgable and experienced partner.
      • As much as possible, study and become familiar with the area you plan on exploring. Gain a thorough understanding of the terrain and its potential hazards.
      • Review the local weather forecast in the area you plan on going and take the appropriate clothing and equipment. During winter-like conditions in mountainous terrain, check the current avalanche report in the area.
      • Be healthy, safe, and smart. Know your limits, don't over-extend them, and don't take unnecessary risks. It's advisable not to go hiking with an existing injury, as it could become unpredictably worse during activity.
      • While in the backcountry with young children, always keep them within sight. If your dog is with you, be courteous and keep it leashed in areas that require it. Doing so will keep you, your dog, other people, and the wildlife more safe.
      • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. There are many objective hazards in the wilderness, and they aren't always obvious. Keep a keen eye out for deteriorating weather, dangerous trail conditions, avalanche risks, and wildlife.
    What questions do you have about Southern California?