Sheriff’s deputies and emergency rescuers were called to aid two hikers who became stranded in a ravine on El Cajon Mountain Friday night.
Officials responded to the hiking area near El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside at around 8:30 p.m. after receiving a cell phone call for help from two hikers.
According to deputies, the hikers – a 46-year-old woman and 56-year-old man -- reported that they were lost, cold, wet and unprepared for the cold weather. They were not injured, but they were stranded.
Deputies requested assistance from a Sheriff’s helicopter crew and were able to determine that the hikers were on the El Monte side of the mountain.
However, the helicopter crew was unable to actually see the hikers due to the stormy weather conditions. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue then set out to search for the hikers.
Once weather conditions improved, deputies said the helicopter was able to establish visual contact with the hikers, who were stuck in a ravine with limited access.
The helicopter crew performed a hoist rescue and lifted both hikers to safety. The woman was shivering uncontrollably and was transported to Grossmont Hospital. The man was given a ride to his car.
According to several hiking websites, El Cajon Mountain Trail is primarily used by experienced hikers who enjoy rock climbing and skilled mountaineering.
It is not immediately clear how the pair wound up in the ravine in the first place.