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Flagstaff, AZ; At about 2:00 pm today a forty-five year old Flagstaff man who had injured his knee during a hike was rescued from area known as the Water Falls on Mount Elden where he was stranded. Two other individuals, who were hiking with him, a thirty seven year-old male and his ten year-old son, also were escorted to the bottom of the mountain by Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Volunteers.
The three hikers left their vehicle parked at the Trinity Heights Church on Sunday at about 1:30 pm. They “scrambled” or hiked up the mountain reaching the top at around 7:00 pm. As the group began to hike down the mountain on the same route they used to ascend it, one of the men believed he saw a bear. This caused the party to move to the east, closer to the radio towers on the top of Mount Elden. They began their descent in a steep ravine that eventually leads to an area known as the “Water Falls.” Due to the steep and rocky terrain and the dark conditions, the three hikers decided to spend the night and reassess their situation on Monday morning during daylight conditions.
This morning at about 7:40 am, the hikers surveyed the surrounding terrain and considered the fact that the older hiker had injured his knee. They determined that they required assistance from rescue personnel. One of the men used his cell phone to call a relative who was waiting for them in the parking lot of the Trinity Heights Church to request assistance; the relative then called the Sheriff’s Office.
A Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputy who serves as a Search and Rescue coordinator asked an Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue crew to fly over Mount Elden for the purpose of obtaining an exact location of the stranded hikers. After this was accomplished, the deputy and five members of the Technical Rescue Team hiked to their location. Search and Rescue personnel escorted the uninjured father and son on foot to the bottom of Mount Elden. The Technical Rescue Team used a system of ropes and pulleys to lower the injured hiker a distance of approximately 100 feet where the rescuers were then able to assist the man in hiking the rest of the way to the bottom of the mountain.
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Media and Public Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089