2 men rescued from side of Mount Washington

'Shortcut' turns into perilous situation


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Pittsburgh emergency crews safely rescued two people who were stranded on Mount Washington between the Wabash Tunnel and the Monongahela Incline after they attempted to climb down on foot.

The rescue attempt began around 3:45 p.m. Both men were safely brought to the bottom of the 600-foot incline by 6 p.m.

"We just thought there was a shortcut," said one of the men, whose name has not yet been released. "We almost made it to the bottom, but then there was a 30-foot drop. That's not real easy to jump down."

The other man suffered an ankle injury but declined transportation to the hospital.

Pittsburgh emergency medical services Chief Raymond Everitt said six emergency personnel climbed down the mountain to locate the men. Once found, they were secured to harnesses and attached to a rope that allowed them to safely belay down the mountain.

"With gravity, it's easier to get them down than to bring them back up," Chief Everitt said.

Officials said occurrences like this happen on Mount Washington three or four times each year.

"They always think there is a shortcut," Chief Everitt said. "Except for the inclines, there is no shortcut between Mount Washington and Station Square. So we ask people please not to try."

Chief Everitt said he did not know if the men will be subject to any legal or financial consequences.

Pittsburgh City Council introduced legislation in June that would increase the cost of emergency medical fees. The basic life support fee, now at $500, could increase 40 percent, to $700. Fees for extrication, such as the mountain rescue, would increase from $700 to $750.

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Jessica Contrera: jcontrera@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1458 or Twitter: @mjcontrera.


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