Who is Henry Sands? Missing actor Julian Sands' son retraces dad's hiking route in California mountains

Who is Henry Sands? Missing actor Julian Sands' son retraces dad's hiking route in California mountains
Julian Sands has been missing since Friday evening last week in the Mount Baldy area (YouTube/NBC News)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Julian Sands's son, Henry, has now joined the search operation for his father who went missing six days ago while hiking in 'extremely dangerous' California mountains. The 65-year-old has not been seen since attempting to climb Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains which is one of the most popular trails in Los Angeles. At around 7.30 pm on Friday, January 13, Sands was reported missing by his family amid warnings of 'extremely dangerous' conditions for hiking.

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On Tuesday, January 17, Henry, who is also an experienced hiker, flew out from London to assist with the search. It is understood that he has been able to trace the route his father took. However, due to extreme weather conditions, the 37-year-old, who owns a communications business, was forced to abandon his efforts. A ground search incident was also stopped on Saturday due to a storm. It has not been safe to send rescue teams back out since.

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Drones and helicopters have been deployed to the mountain range, located 40 miles from Los Angeles. On Thursday, January 18, rescuers recovered a snow-covered car, believed to be Sand's, which was illegally moved 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. 

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"Henry is taking a very practical approach in organising everything and getting involved", a source close to the family said, according to Daily Mail. "I think it was just an instinct for him to fly out when he heard his father was missing." Sands has already had a narrow escape from his death in the Andes in the early 1990s while hiking. "I was in the Andes, caught in an atrocious storm above 20,000ft with three others", he previously recalled. "We were all in a very bad way. Some guys close to us perished; we were lucky."

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Sands has often voiced his likeness for 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". "'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", he added. "I mean, two days ago, I was just an old guy begging people for water at a trailhead in the Santa Monica mountains. Who cares if you're a film person, I was just someone very grateful for the kindness of strangers." 



 

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Besides Julian Sands, a search effort is also ongoing for another hiker, California resident Bob Gregory, in the Crystal Lake area of the mountain range. "On Friday at about 7.30 pm, a hiker identified as 65-year-old Julian Sands of North Hollywood was reported missing in the Baldy Bowl area of Mt. Baldy", a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said. "Search and Rescue crews responded and began a search. Due to trail conditions and the risk of avalanches, 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."

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 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." 

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Julian Sands' search progress

Police have revealed that Julian Sands was on the move two days after he was reported missing due to phone pings obtained by officers. Additional pings have been attempted, but have been unsuccessful likely due to Sands' phone running out of power. "'On January 15, 2023, phone pings showed Sands to be heading to the Mount Baldy area", a  spokesperson for San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said. "Additional phone pings from the cell provider were attempted but were unsuccessful, due to the lack of cell service and most likely cell phone power failure. A delayed ping through Sands’ Apple iPhone operating system, from January 14, 2023, provided a possible location on one of the trails leading to the summit of Mount Baldy. This area was checked by ground searchers and by helicopter. Ground and air searchers were unable to locate any evidence in this area that would assist in locating Sands. Because of avalanche risks and trail conditions, the ground crews were pulled off the mountain on Saturday evening. However, the search continues by helicopter and drones when the weather permits. Additional ground searches will be scheduled when the weather improves, and it is safe for our rescue crews."

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