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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Hiker Rescued After Attempting to Retrieve Cell Phone

Search and rescue personnel assisted when the man got stuck on a cliff.

by: Ted Alvarez

image: Wikimedia Commons
image: Wikimedia Commons

Unless you’re Alex Honnold, if you drop your cell phone over a cliff: leave it there.

An unidentified hiker on Looking Glass Rock in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest failed to follow this crucial bit of advice Tuesday and wound up stranded 244 feet below the top of the rock with no equipment to get back up.  Here's the lowdown from local news station WNCT:

“After he got down there, he couldn’t get back up. “He probably should have been on a rope, at least that way he could have climbed back up.”

The man was found with the help of a helicopter and infrared thermal imaging. A local wilderness guide says Looking Glass Rock can be deceiving to climbers.

“It seems like a very low angle rock and then as you walk out, it is gradually getting steeper and steeper,” says Patrick Weaver, “and then people realize they have gotten themselves into trouble.”

So, just to repeat, if you drop your cellphone over the side of a cliff and aren’t carrying climbing equipment, follow these procedures:

1) Ask yourself, “Am I Alex Honnold?”

a. “Yes.” Climb down and retrieve your phone, and set a speed record while you’re at it.

b. “No.” Do NOT climb down to retrieve your cell. Return to the trail, and book an appointment at the Apple store.

See?  Simple rules to live by.

Read more: WNCT

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