Pittsburgh emergency crews safely rescued two people who were stranded on Mount Washington after they attempted to climb down the hillside between the Wabash Tunnel and the Monongahela Incline.
Allegheny County emergency dispatch was notified of the situation at 3:45 p.m. By 6 p.m., both men were safely brought to the bottom of the 600-foot incline.
"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 to safely belay down the mountain.
"With gravity, it's easier to get them down than to bring them back up," Chief Everitt said.
City officials said occurrences like this happen on Mount Washington three or four times a 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.
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 a mountain rescue, would be increased from $700 to $750.
Jessica Contrera: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1458. Twitter: @mjcontrera.