"The weather has buried the mountain in snow" – another hiker disappears on mountain where Julian Sands died

Is Mt. Baldy really that dangerous?: Mt Baldy
Avalanche risks hindered the search efforts for the 22-year-old missing hiker (Image credit: Getty)

Search efforts for a missing hiker have been hampered by heavy snowfall and avalanche risk on Mount Baldy, the California mountain where actor Julian Sands died last year.

In a press release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, the hiker was identified as 22-year-old Lisei Huang, a resident of El Monte, CA. Huang set out on a solo hike at approximately 2 p.m. on Sunday, and has not been heard from since about 4 p.m. that day. Search efforts began at 2:30 a.m. on Monday but were unsuccessful.

Teams returned the following day, but dangerous conditions presented by the storm system in the San Gabriel mountains meant crews were pulled off the mountain, and prompted officials to issue the following warning to hikers:

"The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department strongly urges everyone to stay away and refrain from mountain activities during this inclement weather. The weather has effectively buried the mountain in snow and it is highly likely hikers will get into trouble.  Resources are stretched to their limits and hikers who get lost may have to wait long periods of time before help is available. " 

California has been under a storm watch for days as the result of an atmospheric river that has brought catastrophic flooding to LA and San Francisco, and a winter storm advisory inland. In the San Bernadino mountains, the National Weather Service is calling for a further 6 - 10 inches of snowfall through Thursday night at areas above 5,000 feet  – the summit of Mount Baldy lies at 10,064 feet above sea level.

Is Mt. Baldy really that dangerous?: Mt. Baldy in summer

The National Weather Service is calling for a further 6 - 10 inches of snowfall through Thursday night at areas above 5,000 feet (Image credit: Getty)

What makes Mount Baldy so dangerous?

Mount Baldy, which is officially known as Mount San Antonio, is a prominent peak on the border of Los Angeles and San Bernardino in California.  As the highest point in the San Gabriel Mountains, it is a popular challenge for adventurous hikers and trail runners. Though in summer conditions, Mount Baldy is not a technical hike, it is a very strenuous one. However, winter conditions can turn it into a difficult mountaineering prospect, requiring the use of an ice axe and crampons

Last year, actor Julian Sands, a keen mountaineer, disappeared during a winter storm on the mountain. His remains were not discovered until June, 2023. Learn more in our article on what makes Mount Baldy so dangerous.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.