Friday, March 5, 2010

Live...late breaking. Rescue at Gates Pass

Gates Pass
So many emergency vehicles....
Gates Pass is a well known sunset viewing site. It is one of the best vantage points to watch the sun drop out of sight in the Tucson area. And as a public stop off point to climb the mountains and view the scenery over the valley, Gates Pass is the bridge between Tucson and the Saguaro National Park. Gates Pass provides areas for picnicking, hiking, wildlife observation, nature studies and camping. A visible trail head winds around the mountains and natural desert vegetation of saguaro cacti, brush and other native cactus surrounds the area. It is also one of the most dangerous areas to drive around Tucson. The road is narrow and winds around the edge of a large mountain with just a few feet spaced between the edge of the road and a deep drop off to the valley below. Because of this driving danger, Gates Pass is not open to commercial and large vehicles over 40-50 feet long. And today, while making this drive, we pulled into one of the most popular viewing sites and before we knew it, we were surrounded by emergency vehicles as a search and rescue was about to take place. Blocked in, it was obvious we were here for the long haul…….. What had apparently happened is that a few inexperienced hikers got themselves too high and beyond their capability to get down. (Visitors going for that spectacular photo) Climbing is one thing. Getting down is another. Fortunately, they had a cell phone and called 911 and this set into motion the response of three firetrucks, an ambulance, a number of sheriffs and a 10 man rapid response search and rescue crew….

here comes the media........

And the wait begins.... Here they come, father and son. Fortunately, none the worse for wear. Just a bit embarrassed by all the attention. Good ending!
We didn't wait for the sunset today. Maybe another day. Decided to hit the road as the emergency vehicles made way for our escape

2 comments:

canislupuswolf said...

Thats an amzing photograph. The sky looks so beautiful :)

Arizona Girl said...

When we first got there it was about 2:30pm so the it was really bright. By the time we were able to leave, some clouds moved in.... Got some other good shots too. Love this new camera....