Get Out There

Reality TV Show Leads Inexperienced Hikers into Serious Danger

We’re always talking about getting outside more. But, it’s essential to know your limits and to be prepared. The summer is upon us. That means long daylight hours to enjoy being outside but also hot days. You should be strategic in how you have fun outdoors, maximizing your time in the cool morning and evening hours.

Some people are experienced outdoorsmen and can hike in rugged terrain all year round. It takes planning, knowledge and practice. Most of us aren’t on that level. And everyone needs to plan and prepare for a hike. It’s especially important when you are going somewhere new in hot weather! You can quickly get into dangerous situations when you don’t know what you are facing.

The Echo Canyon Trail on Camelback Mountain is one of the hardest hikes in Phoenix, AZ. Eight people shooting a reality TV show climbed it with “no idea” and had to be rescued — five of them needing to be removed by helicopter.

The path is steep, uneven and exposed to the elements without shelter. The temperature was 108 degrees Fahrenheit. And the hikers ran out of water. Around 100 firefighters, along with drones, were sent to find and retrieve the hikers when they called for help.

The hikers were shooting a TV show called “Bad Girls Gone God.” The show follows women from different churches doing intense activities to feel closer to God. But they were underprepared. They left the base at 7:00 am and reached the top. But, coming back down, they had problems.

I started getting really, really dizzy, and after a while, I just said ‘no, I can’t do this,’” said one of the hikers, Tatiana Robinson. “We were not prepared. We didn’t even get that much sleep. We kept stopping, and we had no water so the more that we stopped, the harder it got.”

Thankfully other hikers saw that they were struggling and called 911. The Phoenix Fire Department is used to people needing to be rescued. They close the trails on the hottest days of the year and have tips for hiking there on the city’s website. But, despite working swiftly, three of the hikers did have to be hospitalized for heat-related problems.

The women were rescued from several miles of the trail, having spread out from one another. That made it difficult, and the Phoenix Fire Department said, “Today was one for the books!” on Facebook, where they posted a video of the day.

Banner image: Justin Nealey via Pexels

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