‘Experienced’ New York Hiker Rescued Twice in Two Days
A New York man who says he's an "experienced" hiker had to be rescued twice in two days.
Phillip Vasto, 28, of Brooklyn was recently recused twice in consecutive days while hiking in a northern Arizona mountain range.
Vasto says he's an “experienced hiker.” While on a business trip in Phoneix he decided he would try to climb Humphreys Peak, the tallest peak in Arizona.
Humphreys Peak, is the tallest mountain in Arizona, with an elevation of 12,633 feet (3,851 m) and an elevation gain of 3,395 ft (1,034 m), according to Vasto.
Two years prior Vasto says he had no issues while hiking the Grand Canyon.
Because of his successful Grand Canyon hike, he told the Arizona Daily Sun he assumed Humphreys Peak would be “just another challenge.”
Boy was he wrong.
“It was very easy to get off the trail and fall into the snow,” Vasto told the Arizona Daily Sun.
On March 2, around 7 p.m., with no lights, he called 911 to say he was lost on the trail. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit found him and brought him to safety.
Officials say they told him he should wait a few more months before revisiting the trail and reminded him how dangerous it is to hike without proper equipment.
Vasto didn't listen. He set out on the same hike early the next morning.
“I was thinking if I start early in the morning, I'll have all the time in the world to reach the summit,” he said.
During the hike, he fell and cut his leg. This left him lightheaded and "numb all over." Around 5 p.m., on March 3, with his phone at about 5 percent, he called to be rescued again.
"I'm not ashamed of turning back. After all, life isn't worth losing for a cool Instagram picture. Part of being a hiker is realizing your own human limitations and respecting the mountain and the climate. I'll be back when there is much less snow," Vasto wrote on social media.
Vasto also issued a warning to all other hikers.
"Humphreys Peak is no joke in March. I highly advise NOT attempting Humphreys Peak in the winter. You can easily injure yourself and get hypothermia up there. I actually did mess up my leg a bit. It was arguably scarier and more dangerous than Kilimanjaro at this time of year," he warned.