Scottsdale firefighters recount Wednesday's nighttime mountain rescue

- Wednesday night saw a risky nighttime operation to rescue a hiker that was attacked by bees, on top of a Scottsdale mountain.

The hiker, along with a friend, reportedly entered a restricted area, traversing steep terrain that did not have any marked trails. The area where the rescued happened was near Shea and 142nd Street, and the hikers were technically trespassing by being in that area.

One of the hikers was able to get off the mountain on his own, while the other became stuck at the top. Firefighters on the ground called for air support, and the rescue was performed in the dark of the night.

The two men involved are reportedly in their 20s and from Fountain Hills. Firefighters described the terrain the two likely encountered.

"It is very rocky," said Jim Welch, who is a firefighter with Scottsdale. "It is a steep terrain. There are no trails on that mountain whatsoever. The mountain itself is Salt River Reservation, it's posted for no trespassing. No hikers allowed."

The two managed to free climb their way to the top.

"Just like bouldering," said Welch. "Hand over hand, going up. They had no equipment with them whatsoever."

The two didn't enjoy the view for long, as a swarm of bees began to attack them. One was able to get off the mountain, but the other, who was stung several times, went down the side of a cliff and into a crevice, where he became stranded.

"He was in a very precarious position," said Welch. "He needed to be picked off by a helicopter. There was no way were were going to be able to free climb ourselves up there, and be able to do an effective rescue."

"It's not real stable rock," said Bill Crowther with Scottsdale Fire Department. "Your footing's not real good. Not a lot of places to move around."

By the time the helicopter reached the hiker, it was around 8:00 p.m., and the only light the rescuers had was from the chopper and their helmets. The hiker reportedly shined his cell phone light, in en effort to help rescuers locate him.

The hikers suffered bee stings, but otherwise, not injured and refused treatment. Both were cited for trespassing, and their names were not released.

According to firefighters, one person died on that same mountain, nearly 20 years ago. Three people ventured up the restricted mountain, and one fell to his death. Another person was able to get down on his own, and the third became stranded, and had to be rescued.

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