Couple rescued from Scottsdale hiking trail

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Crews from Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tempe responded to a call for help from a couple hiking the Gateway Loop trail in the McDowell Mountains on Tuesday afternoon, according to Capt. Adam Hoster with the Scottsdale Fire Dept.

Capt. Hoster said the husband and wife from Washington State, who are in their 60's, were disoriented and out of water. They climbed to the top of a peak to get cell phone reception. They were 3.6 miles from the trailhead.

"My husband started to feel pretty dizzy. I started to feel dizzy. We didn't have any more water, then he sprained his ankle," said hiker Sue Cole. "We saw it was almost five miles back, we thought we don't think we can do this."

Cole told 3TV she used trail markers to guide rescuers to their location. Chopper 3 spotted the couple waving to a nearby rescue helicopter. Emergency responders landed on the trail and flew the couple to safety.

"I think we're going to be fine. We're very grateful for their professional and friendly help," said Sue Cole.

Cole's husband was transported to Scottsdale Healthcare Shea for further evaluation.

"We've hiked all over the world, and never had anything like this happen," said Cole who is familiar with Valley hiking as well.

"It is hotter than it seems," said Scottsdale Battalion Chief Kelly Baggs.

Tuesday's rescue makes the second rescue in as many days.

"Know what you're getting yourself into. As you go in, you have to come back out, obviously.  The deeper you go; you still have that same distance back."

Based on her experience, Sue Cole's advice:

"Know where you're going; have a charged cell phone; be aware of your water, and at the first sign of trouble, don't wait to call for help," said Cole. "Thank goodness there are people who can help you."