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Cliff Plunge Survivor Lowered Back Down the Mountain -- at her Request

Tracy Granger, who spent 12 hours 350 feet over the side of Angeles Forest Highway in March, asked her Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department rescuers to take her back to the scene where months earlier she'd been minutes away from death.

She still won't drive on Angeles Forest Highway, the twisting mountainous road from which 350 feet over the side into snow last spring.

But on Thursday, with help from the same poeple who saved her life, the Juniper Hills resident lowered herself down the mountain and into the ravine where she spent 12 frigid hours on March 25 waiting and praying for someone to find her.

"They described again what they had to do to find me,'' she said, short of breath from her climb back up. "It was like trying to find a microbe in a haystack,'' Granger, 56, added.

A little shaken, and admittedly emotional, Granger repeatedly thanked the Montrose Search and Rescue team and other members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, including Reserve Dep. Jason Johnson, who spotted her tire tracks on the icy roadway, and Dep. Paramedic Mark Desmarteau, who followed the rescue team's brightly-colored hats to her location in the snowy ravine that March morning.

"God bless her, what a spunky woman,'' Desmarteau said, noting although the rescuers found her, and he administered first aid -- she was severely hypothermic -- it was Granger's tenacity that saved her life.  

Despite an unsuccessful quick scan for Granger's shoes Thursday, rescuers did find something: her favorite shirt, now weather worn and tattered, as well as a jacket and part of a resume.

Back on March 25, at 7:45 p.m. Granger was driving on Angeles Forest Highway near mile marker 10.47 when she hit a patch of ice on the roadway. The vehicle rolled down a rugged hillside and came to rest 350 feet over the edge. She spent approximately 12 hours at night in near-freezing temperatures in the snowy canyon until the next morning when she was rescued by Sheriff’s Montrose Search and Rescue personnel and the Sheriff’s Department Air-5 Rescue helicopter crew. 

Check back on LCF Patch soon for a video interview with Tracy Granger, as well as additional video of Granger scaling the mountain side and more details about her harrowing rescue. 

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