Woman Lost in Snowy Mountains Without Shoes Found After Dramatic Search

File photo of the San Bernardino Mountains.
File photo of the San Bernardino Mountains.

We know you love videos, music and texting, but keeping your cellphone charged could save your life.

A Southern California woman spent a night in the freezing San Bernardino Mountains without shoes. Luckily she was rescued "conscious and coherent" after the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department sent its Antelope Valley Search and Rescue Team to look for her.

It appears a 51-year-old mother went to a resort near Wrightwood to look for someone on Saturday, said sheriff's Lt. Ken Wright. But she got lost.

Her son, from Phelan, called sheriff's deputies in nearby Palmdale to report that his mom was in distress.

"One of the last text messages her son received from her was that she was walking in the snow without shoes, she was lost and needed help getting back to her car," Wright said. "The son then drove to the resort and found his mother’s vehicle parked in the lot, but he could not locate her."

At 5 a.m. Sunday, search-and-rescue team members began arriving, the department stated. They "discovered tracks in the snow leading away from her vehicle" and started their hunt, Wright said.

They found the woman's car keys, a sock and more tracks but, sadly, bad weather forced the search to be suspended, authorities said. Even helicopters couldn't fly above the area, they said.

But then deputies came up with an idea.

"With the approval from the California Office of Emergency Management, search personnel received help from the United States Air Force in the form of sophisticated cellphone-tracking technology," Wright said. "They determined the victim’s cellphone was last active in the Table Mountain Campground area. Search team members then focused on that area and located the victim near the amphitheater."

A Sno-cat from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department helped to bring the woman to safety. The area is close to the border between Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

It's not clear how she lost her shoes.

Though she was alive, the woman's exact condition was not released by authorities. 


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