On March 24, 2010, at approximately 1:30 P.M., the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office received 911 notification of a man stranded on top of a rock spire in the Cathedral Rock formation outside of Sedona.
According to the reporting person, identified as Riad Edwards, 21, of Klackamas, Oregon, he and his dog had been hiking on Cathedral Rock. Once he reached the top of the trail, in the saddle, he hiked south an additional 50 yards where he encountered and climbed a sandstone spire. Edwards had previously tied his dog to a tree before ascending the spire.
Edwards advised that he climbed hand over hand up a crevice in the rock, which allowed him to reach the top of the spire. Once there, Edwards explained that he was unable to safely return from the top of the spire and called for assistance.
A ground team was deployed to assess the situation and determine whether Edwards could be safely assisted off the rock. It was eventually determined that a ground team could not reach Edwards and a technical means of rescue was required. Assistance was obtained from the Sedona Fire District's Technical Rescue Team to undertake a technical/rope rescue. Additional assistance was requested through Arizona Department of Public Safety for a Ranger helicopter to assess the situation from the air.
Phoenix Ranger arrived and determined the extraction could be accomplished by an air rescue. The Ranger pilot was able to maneuver the aircraft and pick up the stranded man off the spire around 5 P.M. Edwards was transported to a nearby landing zone on Cathedral rock and reunited with his dog. He was accompanied off the rock to his father who was waiting for him.
Rescue personnel cannot stress enough the importance of hiking with a companion and exercising common sense when attempting activities which could end in tragedy. This type of hike, which is basically a rock climb, requires some skill and planning prior to undertaking.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office with information or questions at
(928) 771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov