By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
A 72-year-old Gold Canyon man and his nephew were rescued from the Superstition Wilderness Thursday, September 25, after losing their way during a 13-mile hike from the Peralta Trailhead.
Superstition Search and Rescue members Richard Carpenter and Bruce Horken located Guenter Cohn and Mathew Cohn, who began their hike at 8 a.m. Wednesday, September 24, on the trail west of Weavers Needle.
The two were out of water, lost, dehydrated and exhausted, said Robert Cooper of Superstition Search and Rescue. After hydrating and assessing their condition, Superstition Search and Rescue called for an air extract because the Cohns were “very weak and still five miles from completing their journey,” Cooper said.
“What they did right was they informed family of their plan and, once lost, stayed and slept on the trail,” Cooper said.
“What they did wrong was not being prepared for the extended stay. Even the best plans can go bad. They had no light source or fire-making goods. The helicopter could have found them right away in the night if they had.”
According to Cooper, the Cohns had a map, GPS, a knife and 10 liters of water before starting the hike. “With the cool mornings and afternoon hot temps they quickly ran out of water. Once they were out of water, Guenter began eating the prickly pear fruit but couldn’t get Mathew to.” Maricopa Search and Rescue also aided in the search and rescue.
The Superstition Wilderness has approximately 50 trails with many intersections and is 242 square miles.
Wilderness Hiking Tips
Make a plan and tell someone.
Never hike alone
Water – a gallon a day
Map of area
Compass or GPS
First Aid Kit
Body protection items