Firefighters rescue man hanging from ledge at Papago Mountain overnight

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Phoenix and Tempe firefighters safely removed a trapped hiker from Papago Mountain overnight Thursday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Phoenix and Tempe firefighters safely removed a trapped hiker from Papago Mountain overnight Thursday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
After getting in position to rescue the hiker, they safely removed him from the ledge and walked him to the bottom of the mountain. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) After getting in position to rescue the hiker, they safely removed him from the ledge and walked him to the bottom of the mountain. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Phoenix and Tempe firefighters safely removed a trapped hiker from Papago Mountain overnight Thursday.

According to Phoenix fire Capt. Rob McDade, two males in their 20s started hiking Papago Mountain in Phoenix around 5:30 p.m. Over 7 hours later, at 12:45 a.m., one of the hikers became trapped on a ledge near the top of the mountain.

"We got a call that someone was actually stuck on the mountain in the middle of the night stuck on Papago Buttes," said McDade. "Our first arriving crews did some recon and found the hiker's friend and found out he was literally hanging on the ledge by one hand."

The other hiker was able to safely make his way down the trail after calling 911 and made his way to the arriving technical rescue crews.

"They became disoriented on where they were, got off the trail and found themselves in a really bad situation," said McDade.

With help from a helicopter, crews were able to locate the trapped hiker and make their way to rescuing him. When they arrived at his location, they discovered the hiker hanging from the ledge by one hand. McDade said the drop from the ledge was at least 20 feet.

"He started from a sitting position to sliding down, to two hands to one hand," said McDade. "It was sort of an evolution of losing his footing and momentum and making his way down. Probably not very much longer he would have probably had a fatal fall."

McDade said firefighters deployed two rescue teams to reach the hiker at a vantage from both above and below him.

After getting in position to rescue the hiker, they safely removed him from the ledge and walked him to the bottom of the mountain.

Firefighters said hiking at night is never wise and these hikers didn't have proper shoes or equipment.

Amazingly, he was not hurt and did not have to go to the hospital.  He was just shaken up after facing that 20-foot fall.  

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