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Hikers who found Julian Sands’ remains recall ‘surreal’ experience


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The group of hikers that discovered actor Julian Sands’ physique months after he vanished within the Southern California mountains have spoken out in regards to the “surreal” expertise for the primary time.

Sands, 65, was reported lacking by his spouse on Jan. 13 after the “The Killing Fields” star by no means returned from a hike within the San Gabriel Mountains outdoors of Los Angeles. He was final seen within the space of Mount Baldy — which is notoriously treacherous for hikers.

His physique was discovered by native hikers on June 24 after months of unsuccessful search efforts.

The chief of the mountaineering group who, like all hikers within the space, was properly conscious Sands had gone lacking on the mountain, had an eerie concern behind her thoughts: “I hope we don’t discover a useless physique in the present day,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

Three hours later, the group mentioned they weren’t shocked once they noticed a lone boot. After which one other boot, a trekking pole and, lastly, human bones.

They discovered a pile of darkish winter clothes and a pockets close by. Contained in the pockets was a driver’s license with Sands’ acquainted face wanting again at them. The title on the ID confirmed their suspicions.

“It was surreal,” hiker Invoice Dwyer instructed the outlet.

Julian Sands
Sands was discovered by native hikers on June 24, 5 months after he disappeared on Mount Baldy.

The hikers famous how his stays blended into the panorama, making him laborious to find.

The group’s organizer instructed the outlet that the hike, whereas troublesome, is gorgeous: “Stuffed with wildflowers and waterfalls, it’s good for individuals who don’t like trails, like me.”

They reached the flat canyon, at about 8,400 ft, three-and-a-half hours later. The organizer mentioned she walked proper previous the primary boot, which was noticed by one other hiker behind her.

The bones, they mentioned, had been scattered — doubtless by wild animals. However Sands’ stays may have been pushed into the world by avalanches or melting snow.

What was most regarding to the hikers was the dearth of kit discovered close to the stays crucial for such a harmful winter hike.

They didn’t discover a backpack, which may have contained crucial survival provides, and famous he was “dressed like a ninja” in darkish clothes, making him laborious for rescuers to identify.

General views of the rocky snow-swept area in Angeles National Forest where British actor Julian Sands has been missing after going hiking.
Sands was ill-equipped for the winter climate he doubtless confronted on the mountain, mentioned the hikers who discovered his physique.
no byline@backgrid.com / BACKGRID

The hikers additionally famous that he was carrying microspikes — small steel cleats which are nice for mountaineering on snowy trails, however not for icy mountain trails, the place crampons, heavy spikes strapped to mountaineering boots, are crucial, in accordance with the LA Instances.

“I used to be slightly shocked to see the microspikes,” Dwyer mentioned. “They had been simply the fallacious instruments for the job at hand.”

Julian Sands
Sands’ reason for dying stays undetermined.
Getty Photographs

Additionally they discovered no indicators of a helmet or an ice axe. They did discover Sands’ cellphone perched on a rock beneath a tree, however a lot of the mountain doesn’t get reception.

After discovering the bones, Dwyer used his Garmin InReach — a $400 pocket-size satellite-messaging gadget — to ship an SOS with their actual location to authorities, he instructed The Instances. Responders arrived in eight minutes, he mentioned.

Officers confirmed the stays had been Sands’ three days later, 5 months after his disappearance.

There have been greater than 100 rescues and a minimum of 10 deaths on Mt. Baldy since 2020, in accordance with the LA Instances.

San Bernardino County Sheriff Julian Sands search
Giant-scale efforts by San Bernardino County authorities didn’t find Sands for months.
San Bernardino County Sheriff

Julian Sands
Sands is understood for his work in such movies as “Arachnophobia,” “A Room with a View,” “Warlock” and “Leaving Las Vegas.”
Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

How or precisely when Sands died has nonetheless not been decided. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Division mentioned final month that his dying was dominated “undetermined as a result of situation of the physique and that is frequent when coping with instances of this kind.”

The seek for the English actor was hindered by the climate. After he had been reported lacking, the county sheriff’s workplace carried out eight land and air searches, totaling greater than 500 hours and costing over $100,000, in accordance with the LA Instances.

Heavy storms repeatedly buried the world beneath piles of snow within the days after Sands’ went lacking.

Officers decided he was prone to be in Goode Canyon — the place he was ultimately discovered — after his cellphone final pinged from a ridge on the Baldy Bowl path. Looking the canyon on foot through the winter would have been dangerous to rescuers given the snow, ice and steep terrain, officers mentioned.

One other giant search effort was launched in June, however Sands was nonetheless not discovered, regardless of the usage of high-tech tools from helicopters.


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