PHOENIX — Authorities were working Wednesday to rescue a 21-year-old hiker who was stranded on Piestewa Peak after fracturing his ankle, the Phoenix Fire Department said.
The hiker called 911 about 2:30 p.m. and said he had sustained an ankle injury in a crevasse off the trail on the west side of the mountain and was unable to get himself out.
Phoenix Fire Capt. Jonathan Jacobs said the hiker is trapped in a dangerous area. It has steep terrain and large, loose rocks.
“It’s become a little bit of an effort to get to him and get the resources that we need to get over there to him,” he said.
Jacobs said the department would normally use a twin-engine helicopter it shares with Phoenix police to rescue the hiker, but it is currently undergoing its annual maintenance overhaul.
Officials set up a rope system and lowered the hiker down to a less steep area. He was then placed in a basket with a large wheel on the bottom.
The biggest concerns are the fading daylight and rugged terrain, so the hiker is not being wheeled directly off the mountain.
“Due to where he was at, this has been a really labor-intensive type of a rescue…what we’re going to do is continue to wheel him in that basket until we can get him to a landing zone and actually land a helicopter in there,” Jacobs explained.
Jacobs said the hiker, who has not been identified, is in stable condition.