Missing actor Julian Sands’s son joins search for his father, 65, who disappeared a week ago

Missing actor Julian Sands’s son joins search for his father, 65, who disappeared a week ago while hiking in ‘extremely dangerous’ Californian mountains – but has to abandon efforts due to hostile weather

The son of Julian Sands has joined the desperate search for his father – who disappeared six days ago while hiking in ‘extremely dangerous’ California mountains.

The 65-year-old actor, who starred in A Room With A View, has not been seen since attempting to climb Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains – one of the most popular trails in Los Angeles.

Sands was reported missing by his family at around 7.30pm on Friday amid warnings of ‘extremely dangerous’ conditions for hiking.

His son Henry, who is also an experienced hiker, flew out from London on Tuesday to assist with the search.

Sands, 65, was reported missing by his family after disappearing in the dangerous mountain range. He is pictured in a recent image released by his family to police to aid the search

Sands, 65, was reported missing by his family after disappearing in the dangerous mountain range. He is pictured in a recent image released by his family to police to aid the search

His family reported him missing at 7.30pm on Friday and rescuers have now recovered a snow-covered car, which was towed away last night

His family reported him missing at 7.30pm on Friday and rescuers have now recovered a snow-covered car, which was towed away last night

Two hikers die on Mount Baldy in four weeks amid ‘extremely dangerous’ conditions

Two people have died in recent days while while attempting to scale the same mountainous area – one of the most popular trails in Los Angeles.

Crystal Paula Gonzalez, a mother-of-four described as ‘the dancing hiking queen’, is understood to have slipped and plunged 700ft down the Baldy Bowl.

A helicopter was immediately dispatched, and soon found Gonzalez ‘down on a steep and icy hillside, surrounded by numerous helpful hikers assisting in any way they could,’ according to an incident report.

On December 28, Jarret Choi, 43, from LA, was hiking the Ice House Canyon trail when he fell near the Ice House Saddle ridge line.

He was found two days later, after a search hampered by extreme weather conditions.

And on December 17, four people had to be rescued by helicopter from the mountain after icy conditions made it impossible to move.

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He is understood to have retraced the route his father took.

However, the 37-year-old, who owns a communications business, was forced to abandon his efforts due to the hostile weather.

It comes after a ground search was attempted on Saturday, but also had to be abandoned due to a storm. It has not been safe to send rescue teams back out since. 

Drones and helicopters have been deployed to the mountain range, which is 40 miles from Los Angeles, where the actor has lived in Beverly Hills since 2020.

Rescuers last night recovered a snow-covered car thought to belong to Sands, which was towed away from the area. 

It is not known if the actor would have taken a tent, but a source close to the family said he would have been ‘well equipped’ for a day’s hike. 

A source close to the family said: ‘Henry is taking a very practical approach in organising everything and getting involved.

‘I think it was just instinct for him to fly out when he heard his father was missing.’

Meanwhile, it is not the first time the keen outdoorsman has come into trouble while hiking, having had a brush with death on the Andes in the early 1990s.

He previously recalled: ‘I was in the Andes, caught in an atrocious storm above 20,000ft with three others. 

‘We were all in a very bad way. Some guys close to us perished; we were lucky.’

The actor is a father-of-three who became a major star after the 1985 release of the  period drama A Room with a View alongside Helena Bonham Carter. He also appeared in The Killing Fields, Arachnophobia and Leaving Las Vegas. His TV credits include 24 and Smallville.

The 65-year-old has two daughters, Natalya and Imogen, with US journalist Evgenia Citkowitz, who he married in 1990. He has a son, Henry, with his first wife Sarah Sands, the former editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Sands has often spoken about his love of nature and his ‘wonderful outdoor lifestyle’, and has traveled around the world carrying out daring climbs.

He previously told Thrive Global his expeditions during Covid lockdowns were about ‘supplication and sacrifice and humility’.

He added: ‘It’s not so much a celebration of oneself but the eradication of one’s self consciousness. And so on these walks you lose yourself, you become a vessel of energy in harmony hopefully with your environment.

‘I mean, two days ago, I was just an old guy begging people for water at a trail head in the Santa Monica mountains. Who cares if you’re a film person, I was just someone very grateful for the kindness of strangers.’

He once even conducted an entire interview from the face of the Mittellegi Ridge on the Eiger Mountain in the Swiss Alps. 

Many in the TV and film industry have been praying for the star’s safe return.

Actor Samuel West, who starred with Sands in 2004’s Sword of Xanten, tweeted this morning: ‘Please, please let Julian Sands be OK. A friend and an inspiration. Awful news.’

Actor Jim Piddock called Sands a ‘wonderfully talented and unique man and a delightful, generous friend’ and said he is ‘hoping for a miracle’.

A separate search is also ongoing for another hiker, California resident Bob Gregory, in the Crystal Lake area of the mountain range.

Sands pictured with co-star Helena Bonham Carter on the set of A Room With A View

Sands pictured with co-star Helena Bonham Carter on the set of A Room With A View in 1985

Pictured: Julian Sands is pictured with wife Evgenia Citkowitz in 2015 (file photo)

Pictured: Julian Sands is pictured with wife Evgenia Citkowitz in 2018 (file photo)

Officers attempted a ground search for Julian Sands (pictured left and right with his wife Evgenia Citkowitz) on Saturday for the star but had to abandon it as a storm swept in. It has not bee safe enough to restart the search since

The actor lives with his family in a multimillion-dollar mansion in Beverly Hills but has not been seen since Friday

The actor lives with his family in a multimillion-dollar mansion in Beverly Hills but has not been seen since Friday

British actor and 'A Room with a View' star Julian Sands, 65, has been named as one of two missing hikers in California's San Gabriel Mountains. He's pictured here in 2020

 British actor and ‘A Room with a View’ star Julian Sands, 65, has been named as one of two missing hikers in California’s San Gabriel Mountains. He’s pictured here in 2020

A warning sign at the mountainous range amid 'extremely dangerous' conditions that have led to the deaths of two hikers in recent weeks

A warning sign at the mountainous range amid ‘extremely dangerous’ conditions that have led to the deaths of two hikers in recent weeks

Sands is known for his roles in several films, including the 1985 feature 'A Room with a View,' 'Warlock,' and 'Leaving Las Vegas'

Sands is known for his roles in several films, including the 1985 feature ‘A Room with a View,’ ‘Warlock,’ and ‘Leaving Las Vegas’

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department says winter weather on Mt Baldy can make for 'dangerous conditions' and has urged hikers to think twice before traversing the area

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department says winter weather on Mt Baldy can make for ‘dangerous conditions’ and has urged hikers to think twice before traversing the area

A spokesman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said: ‘On Friday at about 7.30pm, a hiker identified as 65-year-old Julian Sands of North Hollywood, was reported missing in the Baldy Bowl area of Mt. Baldy. 

‘Search and Rescue crews responded and began a search. Due to trail conditions and the risk of avalanche, the ground crews were pulled off the mountain on Saturday evening. 

‘However, we continue to search by helicopter and drones when weather permits. We will schedule another ground search when the weather improves, and it is safe for our ground crews.’

Anxious friends and former colleagues of Sands, who also starred in supernatural horror Warlock, have taken to social media to send their well-wishes as the search continues. 

Film producer Cassian Elwes, brother of Robin Hood star Cary and a family friend of Sands, said: ‘I’ve known since Friday that my friend Julian Sands has been missing on mt baldy. 

‘I’m devastated. A very close family friend who was an adventurer in everything he did. I’ve said many prayers.’

Screenwriter Brian Lynch, whose credits include Secret Life of Pets and Minions, added: ‘Oh no! I love Julian Sands! I hope he is found ASAP.’

American actress and dancer Melanie Kinnaman also wrote: ‘Our friend Julian Sands has been missing from a hiking trip in the mountains of Southern California for nearly one week. 

‘There is an active search for him in the Mt Baldy area. Please send prayers for his safe return.’

Meanwhile, the sheriff’s department has warned that ‘severe weather on the mountain has been difficult’ and air resources are limited, while its search and rescue team has been called out to 14 incidents in the last four weeks alone.

It urged hikers to think twice before walking the trails amid ‘extremely dangerous’ conditions.

It comes as two people have died in recent days while while attempting to scale the same mountainous area – one of the most popular trails in Los Angeles.

Crystal Paula Gonzalez, a mother-of-four described as ‘the dancing hiking queen’, is understood to have slipped and plunged 700ft down the Baldy Bowl.

Sands and Helena Bonham Carter during filming for the 1985 romantic film A Room With A View

Sands and Helena Bonham Carter during filming for the 1985 romantic film A Room With A View

Sands pictured alongside Denholm Elliott during filming for the popular movie, which received universal acclaim

Sands pictured alongside Denholm Elliott during filming for the popular movie, which received universal acclaim

It is currently unclear why Sands was in the area and if he had been hiking alone or with another person

It is currently unclear if Sands had been hiking alone or with another person

A helicopter was immediately dispatched, and soon found Gonzalez ‘down on a steep and icy hillside, surrounded by numerous helpful hikers assisting in any way they could,’ according to an incident report.

On December 28, Jarret Choi, 43, from LA, was hiking the Ice House Canyon trail when he fell near the Ice House Saddle ridge line.

He was found two days later, after a search hampered by extreme weather conditions.

And on December 17, four people had to be rescued by helicopter from the mountain after icy conditions made it impossible to move.

Meanwhile, the sherriff department warning said: ‘Over the last four weeks, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Teams have responded to 14 rescue missions on Mt Baldy and in the surrounding area. 

‘These rescue missions have been for lost, stranded and/or injured hikers. Unfortunately, during these past 4 weeks, two hikers did not survive after falling and injuring themselves.

‘Please know the current conditions on Mt Baldy are adverse and extremely dangerous. Due to the high winds, the snow has turned to ice making hiking extremely dangerous. 

‘Sheriff’s Search and Rescue efforts are often hampered by poor weather along with dangerous avalanche conditions. The recent storms that brought the snow and ice conditions are not favorable for hikers, even those that feel they have a high level of experience.

Meanwhile, a separate search is ongoing for another hiker, Bob Gregory of Hawthorne, in the Crystal Lake area of the mountain range.

Gregory’s family said he went missing on Monday and that they are ‘distraught’ and ‘fear he may have hurt himself and fallen.’

Gonzalez, a mother of four from Covina, was passionate about hiking, mountain biking and being outdoors

Gonzalez, a mother of four from Covina, was passionate about hiking, mountain biking and being outdoors

The treacherous conditions of the San Bernardino Mountains have meant that search and rescue efforts have been 'hampered by poor weather'

The treacherous conditions of the San Bernardino Mountains have meant that search and rescue efforts have been ‘hampered by poor weather’

His relatives added that police are in the process of tracing his cell phone, while search teams have combed the area on the ground and from the air on Tuesday.

The Sheriff’s Department has pleaded with visitors to follow simple tips to stay safe. 

These include: ‘Following all posted warning signs, looking at weather conditions (both current and forecasted) for the area, making sure you have proper gear, training and are properly prepared for alpine conditions (crampons, ice axe, proper clothing), taking a hiking partner, taking a tracking or GPS device such as a SPOT Device or INREACH Device, making sure all cell phone’s are fully charged and to bring a charged extra power pack for it.’

They have also told visitors to let someone know where and when they are going, what time they will be back and ‘most importantly’ not to go if there is any hesitation about the terrain.

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