A hiker miraculously survived a 200-foot fall off a cliff while on a trip to the mountains on Christmas Eve. Ruth Woroniecki, 40, slipped and fell while hiking back to her campsite on the 8,800-foot Cucamonga Peak in California.
According to area authorities, Ms Woroniecki left her family’s campsite at around 5am to make the journey up to Cucamonga Peak.
After she slipped on ice, she miraculously landed on a fallen tree after falling 200ft – saving her from what would likely have been a fatal fall.
Chris Mejia, spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, said a hiker found Ms Woroniecki and activated a handheld GPS device to call for assistance.
Rescuers determined a helicopter would be needed after identifying her location and how long it would take crews on the ground to reach her.
The helicopter circled nearby, with a crew member exiting to find Ms Woroniecki, of Colorado, while battling high winds.
She was collected and hauled into the chopper before being flown to the hospital.
The rescuer was equipped with “crampons and an ice ax” and “hiked to her location and assessed her condition”.
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The injured hiker was then placed “in a rescue harness” and assisted “to an open area, away from trees”, before getting into the helicopter.
Her condition was not immediately known at the close of the weekend, but she is believed to have sustained serious injuries.
The San Gabriel Mountains, which include Cucamonga Peak, are visited by more than three million each year.
However, according to tchester.org, about 10 bodies are recovered per year from the mountains.
In a separate tragic incident, 19-year-old Emily Sotelo died while hiking in New Hampshire in November after encountering freezing conditions on a trail.
The college sophomore was found dead on what would have been her 20th birthday.
According to local officials, Emily wasn’t carrying with her any of the essentials that officials recommend for day hikes, even in warmer weather.