The new year started out busy for members of the Gila County Sheriff's Posse.
The posse members spent all night, Sunday, Jan. 5 -- about 5 1/2 hours -- rescuing a Mesa "day tripper" who was stuck in one of the Four Peaks mine areas.
The young man left the warm Mesa area without a coat on an adventure in the mountains.
"Unfortunately Valley residents tend to forget that high elevations are subject to ice and snow-covered roads," Lu DuBois, public information officer for the posse wrote in a press release. She said these roads are difficult to travel in good weather and even more treacherous in winter.
The Mesa adventurer became stuck, and was unable to climb out of the mine area. However, he did have a cell phone and was able to call for assistance, DuBois reported.
The incident prompted the posse and sheriff's department to offer the following winter travel trips:
- Remember it is not advisable to travel alone. At the least, make sure someone knows your travel plans;
- Always be prepared in the event of bad weather;
- Remember that higher elevations are likely to have slick, icy roads at any time between November and April, especially on the north and east sides;
- Make sure the vehicle used is appropriate for the route. -- The Mesa man was driving a two-wheel drive vehicle on a four-wheel drive, high clearance road;
- Always carry food, water and sleeping gear in the vehicle, just in case.
"We want people to enjoy their visits to Gila County's back country, but we want them to be safe too," DuBois said.