Prescott firefighters rescue Embry Riddle students from mountaintop

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- Prescott firefighters say they had to rescue five unprepared hikers stranded on top of Granite Mountain late at night.

The Embry Riddle Aeronautical University students started ascending the face of the mountain late Thursday afternoon without using a trail. When they reached the summit it was getting dark and they couldn't find a trail to descend the peak. None carried food, water or warm clothing.

Fire department spokesman Conrad Jackson says after trying to find their way down they called 911 at about midnight. Fire crews and a search and rescue team responded and a fire captain boarded a rescue helicopter to try to spot the hikers and find a safe descent route.

A team hiked five miles to the hikers led them down the mountain early Friday.