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FD: Hiker falls 40 feet while free climbing Piestewa Peak

Posted at 6:00 PM, Dec 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 19:34:22-05

PHOENIX — A man was transported to the hospital after falling approximately 40 feet off Piestewa Peak Sunday.

Phoenix Fire and Technical Rescue Crews used their helicopter to rescue the 49-year-old man, who firefighters say suffered serious injuries.

Raw video of hiker being rescued off Piestewa Peak

Phoenix Fire said the hiker was off trails, and was hiking and free-climbing alone. The hiker said he was unconscious for approximately 10 minutes before calling 9-1-1.

"It was sheer rock, you don't have good footing, he didn't have any rope systems with him," said Captain Rob McDade with the Phoenix Fire Department. "[He is] very lucky to be alive."

McDade says while the hiker did not do anything illegal, he encourages hikers to stay on the trail.

The Phoenix Fire Department says in 2019 they have been dispatched to 252 mountain rescue calls.

They say it's possible they could see more rescues heading into the New Year, as some of those who make it a resolution to get in better shape might over-exert themselves on the trail. Fire officials recommend slowly ramping up your exercise and make sure you don't take on too much, too soon.

"The number one thing I like to tell people is just because there's the top of the mountain, you don't have to go to the top the mountain," Capt. McDade said. "On your first outing of the New Year, go halfway, go a quarter of the way."

Firefighters say the man was transported to the hospital for further evaluation.

He is not being identified at this time.

The Phoenix Fire Department says in 2019 they have been dispatched to 252 mountain rescue calls.