Yesterday 11 members of a group known as “Bad Girls Gone God” needed to be rescued off of Camelback Mountain here in Phoenix Arizona. According to local news sources these women were not prepared for a hike this strenuous. They also claimed they had done no homework or research about Camelback. They were however, being filmed for a reality series.
Let that sink in. Helicopter, rescue crews, middle of the day intense triple digit heat heat, some of the best AZ men and women had to go rescue this group of god fearing (?) women or shall we call them as we see them? fame seeking women, off a mountain, being filmed for “entertainment”. This nonsense should not get air time and if it does, it’s proceeds and the actors salaries can pay Arizona for the helicopter rides, fire trucks, ambulance rides and give bonuses to all the rescue teams that went up to help you “Bad Girls” get down safely. 🌵💚👑 The lack of respect you showed is appalling. This is why I say YOU deserve to be charged with a newly created “AZ Stupid Hikers Law. “
Our high temperature yesterday in and around PhX was 110. You read that correctly, triple digit heat Arizona is known for, was right on schedule and being warned about daily by our local news and weather. Local Radio DJs on every station mention staying indoors, don’t hike, they talk about drinking tons of water and heat safety in general. It’s an everyday thing when you live in the desert.
Born and raised desert, I’ve dedicated my life and recently became a nonprofit , the Desert Nature Alliance, to help protect the desert and to speak out about safety in while you are in the desert especially on the trails. There is NO shortage of desert kids like me who make videos, write and constantly talk about staying safe on our 2 very deadly mountains, Camelback and The Superstition.
So, for you bad girls, camera crews trailing along, to come here as visitors and claim to have neglected to do any research or homework about where you are going is bullshit and I’m calling you out on it. Arizona being ridiculously hot in the summer is not some well kept secret . All it takes to realize it’s too hot in Arizona to hike is to step outside. No homework needed when you open your front door and your face feels like you are checking on a cake baking in the oven!
You girls are telling me you are on a reality show or at the very least, being videoed for one and not one of you used your phone to Google about where you were going? Again I call bullshit. If you are fame hungry enough to be on a reality show you are glued to your phone. More than one person in your group knew absolutely 100 percent where you were headed and the drama it could cause. Period.
I do believe you probably didn’t check the weather or watch any news or read any reports. Why should you? You ignored trail signs that say stay off the trails , you failed to bring any of the gear needed ( uh but somehow a crew was there to film you?) you had little to no water with you and cannot deny you are not in the physical shape required to hike that mountain or maybe you have NEVER hiked up a mountain style trail at all!? Have you spent time in the desert on the trails or was this your first time ? You headed up a trail in the hottest part of the day to all but collapse or worse , die from your ignorance and quest for fame, oh I mean “ to get closer to God”. I’m sorry You dragged God into this, I’m not going to.
But by all means please argue with me that no matter your size or weight or whatever you did or didn’t eat or drink that morning, or what you do or don’t normally do , but for some reason, miraculously you thought you were in the physical shape to hike up Camelback in extreme heat because maybe you prayed or you did some working out or went to the gym twice where you live. Go ahead I’ll wait. I’d love to hear your logic.
We as locals also have a responsibility to keep friends, guests and even strangers safe on our trails by being honest about the dangers and not putting them in harms way. A young woman died last year coming out to AZ from the East Coast to visit a man she met online. He took her up Camelback to supposedly take pictures. With no water. She started having trouble and turned to head back down , alone. She never made it. She died. Her story breaks our hearts. Again I made a video shouting to the world please be careful out here and we get it, trust is a hard thing when you first meet someone.
Now before you get mad at the word stupid, or that I’m saying we need “a Stupid Hikers Law, “ Arizona has a current law called “the Stupid Motorist” that states any motorists who intentionally go around barriers from flooded areas and get their cars stuck can be charged for the cost of their rescue. Way too many folks ignored the signs and found themselves stuck and needing serious rescue. When you go out of your way to do exactly what you’ve been explicitly told not to, well there’s a price. I’m suggesting that we do the same for our trails. The hikers who do the right things, wear gear, bring water etc yet have accidents on the trails deserve to have rescue crews available to them.
I live on a hill tucked right up into the Superstition Mtn where I can see Flat Iron out of our windows. The Mountain is famous for Weavers Needle and the story of the Lost Dutchman and Peraltas Gold. Apache claimed this Mountain Range for a time. The stories are legendary like the Massacre Trail and Peraltas men coming under attack. The Superstition holds a unique energy that draws adventure seekers and gold hunters to this day. But that energy is strong and dangerous just like the terrain.
The desert is known to zap all of your moisture leaving you delirious or it simply kills you. I made videos you can see on my YouTube channel where I take a normal piece of sliced white bread, soft, straight from the packaging, and set it outside in our heat. Within minutes that soft bread sounds like sandpaper. Given the full day you have toast or a crouton. Dried tf out.
The less respect you have for it the quicker it takes you out. The death toll on this mountain is unknown for certain. To this day hikers fall off Flat Iron losing their lives for a selfie and the chance for Instagram Fame.
Some people head out on a trail and are never found. Others barely make it back. Then you have those magical creatures like Flat Iron Jim who goes up and down it daily ( in the proper gear and weather of course!) Simply amazing that his body can do it. I have friends who have climbed up and over and all around. My husband has walked from our house, with a buddy, up the Hieroglyphs Trail to the actual top of the Superstition Mountain, a 9 hour hike. I would flop over and die if I tried that. They are both Marines and hike regularly. The heat and what it does to an individual is just that, it’s how YOU and your body responds. It doesn’t matter if someone else can hike it or climb it if you cannot with losing your life. Know and respect yourself enough to know when it’s time to call it and head to the pool.
In August 2019 , 44 Visitors from Kansas had to be rescued from Flat Iron. August. In Arizona. Could it be any hotter? Only in Death Valley or Hell. The amazing part was locally it barely made a blip on the news. Most folks, myself including didn’t hear about it until later. So absurd was this story I went over to the rangers station so I could ask them myself if this was true or blown up for a good story on the evening news.
The rangers were more than happy to tell me all about it as one of the women I spoke with was there that day and she herself had warned this group . The group had arrived much too late in the day to go all the way up the trail and was warned not to do so multiple times. Supposedly only the bus driver took this information and failed to fully relay it to the group. They proceeded anyways being under the impression that it was not that hard of a hike. Where they got that information from I have no idea. Being in front of that part of the Superstition in full August heat you took one look and said “yup easy”???? No one will tell you Siphon Draw or Flat Iron is easy or should be attempted in the heat. NO ONE.
I brought my video camera and a gallon of water plus a squirt bottle and hat and told the rangers I wanted to make a short video about the incident but definitely not go as far as even the Draw, they were fine with that, but I also was well aware they had zero plans of coming to check on me. It’s not how it works. This is a wilderness. The Superstition Wilderness. You go basically on your own in terms of there being no water fountains or lifeguard towers out on the trails. You’re walking into a Mountain Range. Good Luck👍
I head out there sweating like a beast and I hadn’t even made it to what I’d call the trail head! You can watch this video on my YouTube channel Oh So Stace and the Desert Nature Alliance. The heat was so intense and brutal I felt like my skin was melting! I’m born and raised desert . I made 2 videos while out there and you can see just how awful it is! I can’t fully remember details. I’m winded and I truly hadn’t walked even remotely close to Siphon Draw let alone Flat Iron. I felt every bit of the Sun kicking my ass for the shear stupidity of going out there in the middle of the day. The ground radiates heat at you burning your shins even through pants ! Summer in AZ is full blown rattlesnake season so in addition to the heat you have to be mindful of where you rest or set your bottle down. Jumping Cholla are randomly on the trails and getting one stuck in you will ruin your moment for sure.
I ask the group through my videos “Was there not at least one of you? You didn’t have a solid gay? No one who would say Aaaaahhh HELL NO gurl this is NOT happening today ?!?” You didn’t have one me who would have pitched a fit for trying to drag my ass up a mountain in triple digit heat instead of being by the pool?!? Wtf? That’s not a group you should ever travel with period.
Drones take some of the most incredible shots of this planet you will see. You are not going to take a selfie at this point in 2022 that is so amazing that you need to risk your life going up a desert trail like Flat Iron. At night it’s far too dangerous and a young man recently lost his life this way. Please spare your loved ones the pain. Stop with the selfies on a ledge .
A network will, however, happily send eager wanna be stars up any mountain then off a cliff if it makes them money. Bad Girls Gone God this time, another sub group next.
So, are you entertained yet?