Lefei Huang

Hiker Found After Week Missing in California Blizzard

Mount Baldy, CA – February 12, 2024 – The body of 22-year-old Lefei Huang was recovered Sunday night in the Mount Baldy area of the San Gabriel Mountains, ending a week-long search after she went missing during a solo hike amid heavy snowfall.

Huang, from El Monte, departed on her afternoon hike on February 4th despite an approaching “atmospheric river” storm bringing historic precipitation and perilous conditions to the region. Search efforts were hampered by the severe weather, forcing a temporary suspension due to avalanche risks.

“The fact that our search and rescue crews are extremely well trained and they are unable to get there and search, that should give you an idea of the seriousness of the conditions,” said Mara Rodriguez of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Huang’s disappearance served as a stark reminder of the dangers of venturing into treacherous terrain during unpredictable weather. Officials emphasized the importance of proper preparation, planning, and heeding weather warnings before embarking on any mountain activity.

The search resumed after a member of the public flying a drone spotted Huang’s body on Friday. Due to the challenging terrain and ongoing risks, a recovery operation involving rescuers airlifted by helicopter was conducted on Sunday morning.

“We would like to thank all our personnel and volunteers that aided in the search, as well as the citizen that alerted U.S. Forestry,” stated the sheriff’s department. They further urged the public to avoid mountain activities during inclement weather, highlighting the significant dangers and potential strain on emergency resources.

This tragic incident underscores the importance of responsible outdoor recreation. Always research weather conditions, choose appropriate trails based on your skill level, inform others of your plans, and carry essential gear. Remember, even experienced hikers can encounter unforeseen risks, especially in harsh weather conditions.

Key points:

  • Lefei Huang went missing on a solo hike during a major snowstorm.
  • Search efforts were hampered by severe weather and avalanche risks.
  • Huang’s body was recovered after a week-long search.
  • Officials urge caution and responsible planning for outdoor activities.

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