MOUNT SCOTT, OK (KSWO) - Four women were forced to spend Monday night on Mount Scott after one of them suffered a hiking injury, leaving them stranded.
Officials said the women came down from Oklahoma City to hike Mount Scott Monday evening. They thought they would be able to make the trip up before it got dark, but rescuers said one of the women fell and injured her ribs.
By the time first responders found her, it was too dark to hike out so they had to remain until morning.The women then tried to find help on their own and ultimately called 911.
Immediately after the 911 call came in, first responders got right to work searching the area for the four women.
"Trying to navigate through the river of boulders and through the terrain at night is very difficult and dangerous," said Assistant Fire Chief of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Fire Department Jeremiah Phillips. "Once they found her, they did an assessment to see if they could get her out. There was an initial attempt to hike her out to the top of the mountain to one of the roads which ended up failing. It eventually got to where conditions were too dangers at night and they had to spend the night with her up on the mountain."
They took water up to the hikers and at about 8 a.m. Tuesday, they began trying to make their way down. Originally a medical helicopter was called, but the injured woman ultimately decided she could make it down to the road on her own and they took her vehicle to the hospital. Phillips said the women began their hike around sunset and thought they could finish before dark.
"The refuge is closed to the public, other than people camping, at night for reasons like this," Phillips said. "The terrain on the refuge is exceptionally dangerous, it's very rugged and it's very easy to get hurt."
Phillips said he's thankful for the first responders who spent the night helping the women.
"Just like with any other emergency situation, we don't have all of the information until we are actually there," Phillips said. "Her injuries could have been much more severe than what they are and it could have been much worse."
This incident is not an isolated one, as Phillips said this is their fifth rescue in just the last three days for injuries and heat related calls.
"If you want to come visit the refuge take all of the precautions you can. Be very careful," Phillips said. "Bring more water than you think you need. We aren't very remote but it is very rugged, it's a beautiful place but it's a dangerous place."
Mount Scott is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Phillips said it is important to follow those hours so you can prevent a situation like the one Monday night from happening to you.