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New York man rescued twice in 2 days on Arizona hikes

Hiker Rescued Twice
Posted at 12:53 PM, Mar 08, 2022

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A New York City man who needed to be rescued twice on consecutive days while hiking in a northern Arizona mountain range is urging others to pay more heed to winter weather than he did.

Phillip Vasto of Brooklyn said in an online post that snow and wind make hiking up Humphreys Peak dangerous and that hikers should wait for warmer weather.

"I highly advise NOT attempting Humphreys Peak in the winter," he said. "You can easily injure yourself and get hypothermia up there. I actually did mess up my leg a bit."

The trail up Arizona's highest point goes through long stretches of steep, rocky terrain.

"It was arguably scarier and more dangerous than Kilimanjaro at this time of year," Vasto claimed.

The rescue operations mounted by the Coconino County Sheriff's Office used a ski resort's track vehicles that travel on snow for the first rescue and a state police helicopter for the second.

Vasto did not mention the rescues in his post on Instagram. However, he said he will eventually return to the mountain.

"I'll be back when there is much less snow," he said.