Experienced Climber Known as 'Hiking Queen' and Mom of 4 Falls to Her Death on Snowy California Mountain
Crystal Paula Gonzalez-Landas leaves behind four children and a legacy of inspirational social media posts about hiking and nature.
An experienced hiker who had scaled the highest peak in the continental United States fell to her death while climbing a snowy Los Angeles mountain.
Crystal Paula Gonzalez-Landas, 56, died from her injuries Sunday after toppling more than 500 feet on Mount Baldy in northern Los Angeles County, authorities said. Several hikers rushed to her aid and summoned help, but she could not be revived, rescuers said.
The mother of four was known as the "Hiking Queen" to followers of her social media posts, in which she documented her strenuous climbs. She also wrote words of inspiration alongside her videos and photos, encouraging others to appreciate nature and to set lofty goals, not only in hiking but in life.
"Just keep climbing!!!!" she posted days before she died, alongside a video of her hiking Mt. Baldy in the dark with a head lamp.
"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 of efforts to help the gravely injured woman. But poor weather and low clouds prevented a helicopter evacuation and Gonzalez-Landas had to be carried down the 10,000-foot mountain, he told KCBS-TV.
She died at the scene.
On her Facebook posts from Mt. Baldy, she had noted there were treacherous conditions caused by falling snow and ice, and said she was turning back.
Gonzalez-Landas hiked and climbed in all kinds of weather. Previously, she made it to the top of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States, which looms 14,500 feet in California's Sierra Nevada range.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help with burial costs.
"Many know her as the dancing hiking queen or hiker for life. She’s known in the community for her fearless hikes, and daily dose of inspiration," her children wrote on the fundraising page.
"More importantly she was an amazing mother of four, a sister and a friend to everyone she met. She is the personification of strength, love, and beauty.
"She was a beacon of light to everyone who knew her and was always ready to lend a helping hand."
Services are pending.
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