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TRSAR Missions - Thanks For Doing A Great Job


I have received several emails recently from folks we have rescued that I wanted to share with you.  We all do this for various reasons, mostly for love of outdoors, and as a way to give back something of what we receive. 

Well, here is our paycheck.  The first two are related to the group we searched for in Hellsgate.  The last one is from the hiker who lost the Deer Creek trail.


To the Incredible Tonto Rim SNR team,

I can not "Thank you" enough for your amazing efforts in the rescuing of our son Ty, his girlfriend Alexis and their friends Dan, Tony, Jessie and Damon just a few days ago.  I am so-o-o thank you for each and everyone of you and for the Sheriff on duty, Terry Huchins (I am not sure of his last name) and the Sheriff #2 who took over after Sheriff Terry was off duty and scheduled to take a well deserved vacation.. Thank you all SO much for taking your time and efforts and skill to bring all of these young adults out of the Hellsgate Wilderness to safety. You are all amazing and I love everyone of you. I Thank you from the bottom of my heart for not giving up.

Please let me know if there is something I can do for all of you in return. I know we can make a donation which we will definitely do but if there is any thing else we could do in return to help you out please let me know.

Thank you, thank youJ


Judy and Terry Vance (Ty's parents)


Click for larger picture

Hi Bill,
I thought you may enjoy this picture. The awesome TRSAR team, Sheriffs and our kids:) My son, Ty and girlfriend Alexis are in the back row. Ty is wearing a black shirt and Alexis the black jacket and hat:)
Thank you.

Hello Bill and the entire Tonto Rim SNR team,
I wanted to send you our sincere appreciation and thanks for your efforts this past weekend.  My boyfriend, Ty and I met you all on Tuesday afternoon when you hiked into the Hellsgate Canyon trail to help us out and make sure we were not injured.  You were also instrumental in locating our four friends out the night before.  Unfortunately, we underestimated the time it was going to take us to finish the hike from beginning to end.  The coordination effort your team pulled together was phenomenal.  As I'm sure you could tell, our families were very worked.  Thank you so much for working with them to locate us and make sure we made it out safely.  Thank you - thank you! 
During the jeep ride down, I was telling Mr. Charlie Conover about my home made cookies.  I would love to get these and a thank you note in the mail right away.  :)  Can you please send me the correct address?   We cannot say thank you enough.  Looking forward to hearing from you.
Most sincerely,
Alexis and Ty





The reason for this communication is to express my sincerest gratitude and thanks to the dedicated professionals of the TRSAR Unit.  Here's my story:

Having 5,000+ hikes under my belt (in every State in the Continental U.S., including the rim-to-rim-to-rim 50-mile Grand Canyon hike, hikes in Canada and overseas) I'm about as experienced as they come.  On May 20th, at 7:30 AM, equipped with trail map, first aid kit, matches, Suunto watch (with compass and altimeter), over a gallon of water, and plenty of food, I set out on a 15-mile hike from the Deer Creek trailhead, right off of Highway 87 near Payson.  As I always do, I informed someone of exactly where I was going, and also turned off my cell phone to conserve the battery.

The trail started off very easy to follow (very well signed and cairned) but gradually became more difficult to navigate.  The map showed that the trail followed the creek bottom and then turned back toward the trailhead where my truck was parked.   I later found out from Bill Pitterle #500 that the trail markings had been destroyed by a fire.  There were no warnings to this effect at the trailhead to indicate that the trail markers had been destroyed.  Had there been any warnings, I would have turned back. 

As I continued along the creek bed, hoping to find the trail that no longer existed, I realized that I was lost.  By then I was running out of water, becoming dehydrated.  I went into full cramp mode and was barely able to walk. I also became very dizzy, falling several times, and became disoriented.  I turned on my cell phone to see if I could get a signal to alert my girlfriend to send help.  She called the Gila County Sheriff Department, and a search and rescue was initiated.  Shortly thereafter, I again lost cell phone service.  By climbing up onto the north wall of a canyon, I was able to regain cell phone service allowing me to communicate with Deputy Colt White #230. 

I want to extend a special thanks to Deputy White; his calm and caring demeanor is what helped to keep me focused on the task at hand - saving my life.

 Eventually, the Phoenix Ranger helicopter arrived to rescue me from my location, perched on a small ledge on the north wall of the canyon, in the Mazatzal wilderness. 

Please convey my gratitude to every member of the TRSAR team who helped in the mountain rescue.  Additionally, please forward this letter of commendation to any and all administrators/supervisors of the various involved agencies to ensure that they are all advised of my appreciation and commended for their devotion to public service.


 Joseph Schultz


Copyright 2017 Tonto Rim Search and Rescue Squad

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