Fool me... twice?
Former President George W. Bush once said: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, ‘Fool me once… shame on… shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.”
Well, a 28-year-old Brooklyn man who had to be rescued twice in two days while hiking on the same trail in Arizona proved you can, indeed, be fooled again … or whatever.
You read that right: Philip Vasto first lost his way on March 2 trying to summit the 12,633- foot Humphreys Peak (the state’s highest point) outside Flagstaff, a 10-mile round-trip with more than 3,000 feet of elevation gain. After starting around 2:30 p.m. – in the middle of winter, mind you – Vasto had trouble finding the trail underneath the snow. Without a light source, Vasto ended up calling 911 around 7 p.m. when he surrendered to the fact he could not find his way back, according to the Arizona Daily Sun.
Rescue personnel told Vasto to hold off on another attempt until summer, but… Vasto set off less than 24 hours later, this time around 9 a.m. However, he reportedly fell and injured his leg, allegedly 200 feet short of the summit.
“It was very apparent he wasn’t prepared for the climate,” a hiker who came across Vasto told the Daily Sun. “I don’t think he was physically capable of getting back down before sunset.”
The hiker stayed with Vasto, who was again forced around 5 p.m. to call his newfound friends at search and rescue, which sent a helicopter.
After the experience, Vasto, of course, took to Instagram: “I highly advise NOT attempting Humphreys Peak in the winter. It was arguably scarier and more dangerous than Kilamanjaro (sic) at this time of year. I’m not ashamed of turning back. After all, life isn’t worth losing for a cool Instagram picture.”
Mount Kilimanjaro, I can’t believe we have to compare, at 19,308 feet, is the highest mountain in Africa, and one of the most challenging climbs on the planet. Oh, and Vasto also forgot to include in his post that he had to be rescued twice and avoided paying the bill, telling the Daily Sun: “We make posts on social media about how we want others to see us.”
Moving on… Ron Corkish, president of La Plata County Search & Rescue, said in his four decades no similar situation comes to mind. The closest: a man having a heart attack at a hunting camp required rescue. When his friend, who was out hunting, saw the helicopter, he rushed back and was thrown off his horse (an “equestrian ejection,” Corkish joked), kicking off a second rescue.
As for Vasto (who plans to make a third attempt in the summer), Corkish offered this, “Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results?” Yup.
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