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Lost Hikers Rescued Off Mt. San Jacinto

PALM SPRINGS- Two climbers who spent the night on the north face of Mount San Jacinto were hungry but in good condition Tuesday after being hoisted off the mountain by a rescue helicopter crew, authorities said.

The climbers, identified as Andrew Hillery, 24, of Long Beach, and Christopher Cannizzaro, 23, of Playa del Rey, were found around 8:45 a.m. at the 8,700 foot level near the Snow Creek drainage, said sheriff’s deputy Herlinda Valenzuela.

A helicopter spotted one of the climbers sitting on a rock, she said.

Rescue personnel hiked in to assist and assess the climbers while waiting for the helicopter.

Since the climbers did not need medical aid but were tired, they were hoisted down off the mountain, Valenzuela said.

“They were actually well-equipped,” she said.

The climbers were in good condition and well-hydrated, having melted snow to get water.

“They had run out of food, so they were hungry,” Valenzuela said.

The climbers were reported missing Monday evening after attempting to climb the north face of the mountain, which is known as one of the tallest steep slopes in California, according to the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit.

They were due back on Sunday but did not make the deadline, and Hillery’s girlfriend waited until Monday to call.

“I guess it took them longer than they thought,” Valenzuela said.

Rescue crews began their search at 6 this morning, according to the RMRU.

KESQ News Team

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