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All Trails Closed On Mount Baldy After Second Hiker Dies In Less Than A Week

Mount Baldy (Photo by -Clearlight- via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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All trails are closed on Mount Baldy after a second hiker in less than a week died on the mountain.On Saturday night, 47-year-old Dong Xing Liu of Temple City and his wife both fell in the Icehouse Saddle area of the mountain. Rescuers found the couple around 5:30 p.m., but couldn't reach them until about 8:15 p.m. Liu was pronounced dead at the scene. A total of 12 people, including Liu and his wife, had to be airlifted off Mount Baldy on Saturday, according to authorities. "I've been in this department 30 years, and I can't remember a day when we had so many rescues," Mount Baldy Fire Chief Graham Hendrickson told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

On Tuesday, a 23-year-old Garden Grove man hiking on the Devil's Backbone trail died after trying to reach out to save a friend who was slipping and wound up falling 1,500 feet.

Officials say that Mount Baldy's conditions are too dangerous for any hikers right now, and all trails will remain closed until at least Tuesday as conditions are reassessed. Fresh snow from last week followed by rain has made the trails too icy. "The ice is solid as a rock," Mount Baldy fire Captain Gordon Green told the Press-Enterprise. "It's too treacherous right now." At least four of the 12 hikers rescued suffered injuries, including a broken hip. KERO reports that Liu's wife was hospitalized but is in unknown condition.

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