Woman injured while hiking in superstition mountains - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Injured hiker rescued by helicopter in Superstition Mountains

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

An injured hiker was forced to spend the night on the Superstition Mountains awaiting rescue.
Crews were with her, keeping her safe until daybreak when help was able to make its way to the 65-year old woman.

Ranger 58, a DPS helicopter lifted off from the command post as the sun rose Saturday morning. Crews from the Apache Junction Fire Department and Pinal County Search & Rescue were on board to perform a very dangerous, very technical, long line rescue.

The call for help came yesterday afternoon when a 65 year old woman was stranded in the Flat Iron area of the Siphon Trailhead in the Superstition Mountains after falling and dislocating her right shoulder. Friends she was with managed to get cell service and call 911 by the time rescuers reached her it was nightfall.

Deputy Jeff Love with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said "She was only about 10 minutes from the top which sits about 4,400 feet in elevation".

The decision to send a chopper and perform the rescue this morning is not uncommon in this type of situation. A spokesperson for the Apache Junction Fire Department said it's just too dangerous a rescue to perform in the dark. "It's unsafe for the injured person, it's unsafe for the rescuers" said Deputy Chief Dave Montgomery.

Dep. Chief Montgomery kept other hikers back during the rescue, people familiar with the difficulty of the trail.

"People underestimate themselves a lot of times this is very strenuous" said Farrukh Qureshi.

"It's kind of steep so you have to use both your hands to climb up it" said Lamaan Qureshi.

About 30 minutes after it took off the chopper returned with the hiker hanging in a basket with a rescuer tethered to her side.

"She was conscious the whole night, talking, sleeping in and out" said Montgomery.

A ground crew rushed the woman to a local hospital. Everyone was grateful the operation was such a success.

The crews provided the hiker with blankets, food, water, and medicine through the night until the chopper was able to get her down.

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