Sheriff to Hiker Who Called 911 Twice: Don't Try This Hike Again

Man was helicoptered from Arizona's Humphreys Peak on 2nd attempt to reach summit
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2022 10:10 AM CST
Hiker Calls for Rescues Twice in 2 Days
A view from the saddle on Humphreys Peak near Flagstaff, Ariz.   (Wikimedia Commons/Outdoor Craziness)

A New York man bit off more than he could chew hiking in Arizona last week, prompting two 911 calls in two days. The 28-year-old Brooklyn resident first called 911 before 7pm on Wednesday, saying he'd lost his way while hiking the Humphreys Trail, a nearly 11-mile out and back trail that leads to the highest point in Arizona, with an elevation of 12,633 feet in the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff. Before rescuers could reach him, the man who'd set out around 2:30pm—quite late for the full half-day hike—said he'd found the trail and was moving downhill. He noted he'd "encountered conditions that were more difficult than he expected," per WNYW.

"Search and rescue coordinated with Arizona Snowbowl snowcats that were working on Hart Prairie to locate and pick up the victim and deliver him to the Agassiz Lodge parking lot, where search and rescue personnel met him to ensure he did not need any medical attention," according to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office. That wasn't the last authorities would hear of the hiker. Around 5pm the following day, the man called 911 again from the same trail area to report that he was injured. He was reportedly near Humphreys Saddle, which the Arizona Republic describes as "a flat ridge that signifies the tree line and the final 1.2 miles of the hike" to the summit.

Another hiker provided aid while search and rescue crews again responded. A helicopter was ultimately needed to fly the man to the trailhead parking lot, where he refused further medical attention, per WNYW. According to the sheriff's office, the man said he'd started out at 9:30am for his second attempt and reached above the saddle before turning back due to high winds. "On his descent he got off-trail and fell, causing an injury," the sheriff's office said. "The subject was provided with preventative search and rescue education about the conditions on the trail and the approaching winter storm and encouraged to not attempt the hike again." (Read more hikers stories.)

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