Man has to be rescued after climbing mountain in search of free pizza

In this Tuesday, May 9, 2017 photo provided by Coconino County Sheriff shows a snow covered forest service lookout tower on Mt. Elden overlooking Flagstaff, Ariz. Authorities say a man had to be treated for hypothermia and rescued from the snowy northern Arizona mountain which he had hiked up while wearing only shorts and other light clothing in quest of free pizza. (Sgt. Aaron Dick/Coconino County Sheriff via AP)

FLAGSTAFF, AZ (AP) — A man had to be treated for hypothermia this week and rescued from a snowy northern Arizona mountain that he hiked up wearing only shorts and other light clothing in a quest for free pizza, authorities said.

He was trying to qualify for a pizza promised by a local business to anyone who could make it to a radio tower on Mount Elden overlooking Flagstaff. The elevation of the mountain is more than 9,000 feet.

A Forest Service lookout at the tower provided shelter Tuesday to the 30-year-old man, said Coconino County sheriff’s Cmdr. Rex Gilliland. The man’s identity was not made public.

The mountain had several inches of snow from a spring storm when authorities received a report of the man being in trouble and asked the lookout to check for him, Gilliland said.

The man was unaware of the forecast or disregarded it when he set out Tuesday morning, Gilliland said.

“Regardless of what this business offers … the responsibility falls back to the individual to make good sound decisions about what they’re going to do,” he said.

The freezing temperature and snowfall on the mountain were clear signs that the hike would be dangerous, Gilliland said.

“It shouldn’t have been a surprise,” Gilliland said.

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