24 hikers rescued in New Mexico’s Organ Mountains

May 17, 2021 GMT

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a group of 24 hikers who became separated, disoriented and stranded in the Organ Mountains were rescued by the Las Cruces Fire Department and other law enforcement officers.

The hiking group from El Paso, Texas, was trying what authorities called an ambitious attempt to scale The Needle — one of the most difficult ascents in the mountain range near Las Cruces.

The group — made up of hikers with various trail experience — began the guided hike before dawn Sunday. Authorities say some fell behind, splintered onto different trails and became disoriented. They became stranded once the sun set and were unable to find their way off the mountain.

Hikers made several calls to 911 prompting the search and rescue mission.

One woman was injured and had to be carted down by rescuers. Authorities said her injuries are not life-threatening.

Other search and rescue members located the remaining hikers at various stages of descent. Several had relatively minor injuries, mostly scrapes and bruises, and some complained of dehydration.