Man stranded on rock spire near Sedona rescued by helicopter

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A DPS Ranger helicopter picked up a stranded hiker off a rock spire near Sedona By Jennifer Thomas A DPS Ranger helicopter picked up a stranded hiker off a rock spire near Sedona By Jennifer Thomas
A DPS Ranger helicopter picked up a stranded hiker off a rock spire near Sedona By Jennifer Thomas A DPS Ranger helicopter picked up a stranded hiker off a rock spire near Sedona By Jennifer Thomas
A DPS Ranger helicopter picked up a stranded hiker off a rock spire near Sedona By Jennifer Thomas A DPS Ranger helicopter picked up a stranded hiker off a rock spire near Sedona By Jennifer Thomas
A DPS Ranger helicopter picked up a stranded hiker off a rock spire near Sedona By Jennifer Thomas A DPS Ranger helicopter picked up a stranded hiker off a rock spire near Sedona By Jennifer Thomas
A DPS Ranger helicopter picked up a stranded hiker off a rock spire near Sedona By Jennifer Thomas A DPS Ranger helicopter picked up a stranded hiker off a rock spire near Sedona By Jennifer Thomas

SEDONA -- An Oregon man had to be rescued by a helicopter after he became stranded on top of a rock spire near Sedona.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from a man stranded on top of a rock spire in the Cathedral Rock formation outside of Sedona.

Riad Edwards, 21, of Klackamas, Ore., said he and his dog had been hiking on Cathedral Rock when he decided to climb a sandstone spire.

Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said Edwards tied his dog to a tree then climbed hand over hand up a crevice in the rock, which allowed him to reach the top of the spire. Once there, Edwards was unable to safely return from the top of the spire and called for assistance.

It was eventually determined that a ground team could not reach Edwards and a technical rescue was required. An Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter was called in for an air rescue.

D'Evelyn said the Ranger pilot was able to maneuver the aircraft and pick up Edwards off the spire around 5 p.m. Edwards was transported to a nearby landing zone on Cathedral Rock and reunited with his dog. He was accompanied off the rock to his father, who was waiting for him.

Rescue personnel stress the importance of hiking with a companion and exercising common sense when attempting activities that could end in tragedy. This type of hike, which is basically a rock climb, requires some skill and planning prior to undertaking.