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On a recent Sunday morning, I awoke to the sound of a helicopter — not an unusual sound in West Sedona — except this one wasn’t just flying by, it was hovering around the base of Thunder Mountain.

Some Days the Bear ...One look out the window confirmed what I had already suspected, it wasn’t a “tour” helicopter on a sightseeing flight. This was clearly an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter on a search and rescue mission.

Soon after, the sad story became known — 65-year-old Douglas Sims, who had reportedly climbed the mountain several hundred times — fell 60 feet to his death while climbing near the peak.

The takeaway lesson? If a fall can happen to Sims; it can happen to anyone.

I know, because it could have happened to me.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Aug. 7 issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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