Orange County Register
Article Published: Sunday November 2, 2008

Westminster hiker safe after helicopter rescue
Two hikers were found in the east San Gabriel Mountains after getting stranded.


A 52-year-old Westminster man and a 38-year-old woman were rescued just before noon Sunday by volunteers and a helicopter crew in the east San Gabriel Mountains, a San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Robert Hagner and Jennifer Rozler were reported missing in an area above Icehouse Canyon just after midnight Saturday, said San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman, Jodi Miller.

The hikers were found and dropped off by helicopter above Icehouse Canyon — near Mount Baldy — at a fire station there just before noon Sunday. The two had minor cuts and scrapes, but declined medical attention.

The two started their hike around 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Hanger told his wife he would be hiking up to Sugarloaf Peak using the Ontario Peak Trail, which is above Icehouse Canyon and east of Mount Baldy, Miller said.

Hagner's wife called authorities early Sunday when her husband did not return from the hike, Miller said.

"He's usually home at a certain time and when he didn't show, I got really worried," Theresa Hagner said about her husband who hikes once a week. "We were so panicked and felt helpless. We're just relieved he's home and doing a lot better now."

Robert Hagner was at the doctor's Sunday afternoon getting stitches for a cut on his wrist, and was unavailable for comment.

The hikers were stranded after it got dark, and fog and rain rolled in, Miller said. "The two attempted to get out of the ridge, but couldn't because of the weather," Miller said. "They couldn't see their hands in front of their faces."

The search started close to a parking lot near the Ontario Peak Trail where Hagner had parked his car. Almost 15 search and rescue members yelled for the hikers and blew whistles, Miller said. The Sheriff's Department also used helicopters.

"The Sheriff's Department was almost ready to use dogs when the rescue team located the hikers," Miller said.

The Hagners have lived with their 9-year-old son in Westminster for six years. Authorities did not know where Rozler resides.

Contact the writer: or 714-704-3719
626-578-6300, ext. 4496