'Hiking Queen' Dies After Sliding Hundreds of Feet

She had already decided to turn back from Mount Baldy due to dangerous conditions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2023 9:40 AM CST
Hiker Died After Sliding Hundreds of Feet
"Within the past two weeks, two hikers have slid on ice on Mt. Baldy and both succumbed to their injuries," the sheriff's department said.   (Getty Images/Richard Par)

A mother of four known to family and friends as the "hiking queen" died after sliding as many as 700 feet down a California mountain on Sunday, authorities say. Crystal Paula Gonzalez-Landas is the second hiker to die in recent weeks on Mount Baldy, the highest of the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles, SFGate reports. In a Facebook post Friday afternoon, Gonzales-Landas shared video of the dangerous conditions she was experiencing there, reports CBS. Two days later she fell, slid an estimated 500 to 700 feet and hit a tree. "The hiker was down on a steep and icy hillside, surrounded by numerous helpful hikers assisting in any way they could," the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department said.

"It was a terrible situation but we were able to see some of the best of humanity where the bystanders were helping out," rescue medic Eric Rose said, per CBS. A rescue helicopter lowered Rose to the scene but the 57-year-old succumbed to her injuries before she could be taken off the mountain. On a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $26,000 for funeral expenses, her daughters described her as the "dancing hiking queen." "Our mother was a kind, loving, lively soul," they said in a statement. "She had a thirst for adventure that she instilled in all of us during our childhood. She inspired those that met her on the trails. She loved life and life loved her back." (More California stories.)

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