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Helicopter picks up hiker near Brindle Mountain

It probably was not your normal day for the office workers at the Hughes Community Center. Late Friday afternoon, a dehydrated hiker called the center asking for help getting off a mountain. He said he could see cell towers. Thinking the man might be lost in the Wilderness Park, Claremont park rangers were notified and immediately started searching the area.

But the search did not turn up anything. No hiker anywhere, including near the cell towers. Finally however, one ranger was able to get the hiker’s location from his cell phone. But the cell towers near the hiker were not in the Wilderness Park, but close to Brindle Mountain, near Sunset Ridge 3000 feet higher to the north.

The hiker, Shawn Winnick, was low on water and had leg cramps, but wanted to meet a park ranger on the fire road down the mountain. But once a park ranger discovered the road to Brindle Mountain was blocked by a locked gate, he asked Los Angeles County Fire Department for help to unlock. They in turn, called the Sheriff's Department, who helicoptered in to pick Mr. Winnick up off the mountain.

Mr. Winnick was in good condition and released after being dropped off at the Wilderness Park parking lot.

—Peter Weinberger