Dehydrated hiker rescued from Camelback Mountain


by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

Posted on June 29, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 1 at 9:32 PM

PHOENIX -- A woman was rescued from Camelback Mountain on Sunday morning after experiencing symptoms of dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Benjamin Santillan said the 23-year-old woman was about a mile up the Cholla Trail when she started feeling overcome by the heat.

"It was pretty hot, of course. It's Arizona," said Vanessa Torres, who was hiking with the woman. "But she's fine. She's OK. We just needed to make sure her body temperature was lowering and that we could get her to the bottom safely."

Rescue crews were called shortly before 10:30 a.m.

They bypassed the trail and headed straight up the mountain. Because of the triple-digit heat, 20 firefighters worked in shifts to bring the woman down the mountain on a big wheel.

Santillan said it was the woman's first time hiking, and she was wearing a waistband that depletes water.

"(That) is a big no-no, especially right now when we're looking at a technical-type trail and with the heat conditions at this time," he said.

Santillan said people who want to hike this time of year need to hit the trail early, hydrate constantly, and know their physical capabilities.

"This is not a very easy trail, especially for first-time hikers," he said.

"It's definitely a nice hike," Torres said. "You just have to make sure you have enough water and that you're prepared."