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45-Year-Old Man Dies Climbing Near Mt. Baldy, The Third Fatal Fall This Month

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It was another deadly weekend in the San Gabriel Mountains.

A 45-year-old San Diego hiker, whose ID has not been released, died after plunging 1,500 feet from a mountainside trail, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department tells the Los Angeles Times. The man fell when he was hiking with two companions on the north-facing side of Mt. Harwood near the Devil’s Backbone trail. A helicopter was called in for a dramatic rescue down a narrow canyon around 2 p.m. Saturday. He was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton where he was later pronounced dead.

At least two others were injured after sliding several hundred feet from nearby trails, the Times reports. Earlier on Saturday, a man hiking near the Cucamonga Trail and Icehouse Saddle slid headfirst down the mountainside and was knocked unconscious after slamming into a tree. He was also rescued by helicopter and had serious injuries. On Sunday, a woman fell 300 feet near the Icehouse Canyon and Cucamonga Trail but her fall was broken by some pine trees. She was rescued and taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Earlier this month, Daniel Nguyen, 23, died trying to help a friend on Mt. Baldy. Dong Xing Liu, 47, of Temple City later died after falling in the Icehouse Saddle area, prompting the area's closure. The area was later reopened.

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The 45-year-old man who died was wearing crampons, and the two who slid down the mountainside and survived were wearing snow chains on their boots. But officials are cautioning that the narrow trails with steep drop-offs can be deadly.

"When you get on the backside of those mountains, those trails are only about a foot and a half wide," Mike Ells of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department told NBC Los Angeles. "They take one bad step, there's nothing to stop them."

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