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9:26 AM Mon, Dec. 17th

Crews rappel to rescue stranded hiker in Sedona

SEDONA - Crews rappelled down a ledge Friday afternoon to rescue a stranded Sedona man, Yavapai County Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn reported.

The 25-year-old man, whom deputies did not identify, did not suffer any injuries, D'Evelyn stated in a press release.

Deputies received a report at 1:30 p.m. Friday of a stranded climber in the area of Lizard Head Rock off of Dry Creek Road.

A YCSO forest patrol deputy arrived and notified the Verde Search and Rescue Posse "Hasty Team" to contact him and help to locate the stranded hiker.

The Hasty Team found a friend of the climber who directed the team's attention to the ledge where the individual was stranded.

Rescue crews determined the climber was stranded on a ledge with a landing area of approximately 3 feet by 8 feet, at least 30 feet above the nearest ground, and 70 feet below any safe access point.

As a result, the YCSO Response Team Back County Unit arrived to perform high-angle, rope rescue operations. Additionally, crews sought help from the Sedona Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team because the rock face's sandstone composition was unstable above the climber, and the rope system lacked suitable anchor points.

Once the rescue team established a mechanical anchor system using bolts driven into the rock, its members rappelled down the ledge. After they secured the stranded man, the team lowered him down to ground level just before midnight.

The climber had been stranded for more than nine hours on the ledge. He was not dressed appropriately or equipped for the type of activity.

Deputies learned the man had biked to the area alone and decided to access a ledge by climbing onto a rock formation before realizing he was not equipped to get down safely.

He used a cell phone to text a friend about the predicament, and that friend contacted YCSO to request a rescue.