Winthrop Woman Dies In Arizona While Hiking Mountain

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Updated at 12:45 p.m. 8/3/21

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WINTHROP, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A hike out west ended in tragedy on Friday for a Boston-area woman in Arizona. Phoenix Fire Captain Rob McDade identified the woman as Angela Tramonte of Winthrop.

McDade said Tramonte and her hiking partner were hiking up Camelback Mountain in Phoenix when she wanted to turn back halfway up because of the baking heat.

The hikers started out at about 11:00 AM in Phoenix, but temperatures hit a hundred degrees that day.

Tramonte's partner continued up the trail, trying to get to the summit — fire officials in Phoenix did not name the man, but said he had lived in Arizona for decades and was an expert hiker.

She started down the mountain, but her partner did not find her when he got back to the parking lot, and called 911.

Emergency workers arrived at around 1:00 PM and eventually found the woman's body on a patio outside of a house that was backed up against the north side of the Mountain almost four hours later.

Her death has caused an outcry back in Massachusetts. Friends have started a crowd funding campaign for Tramonte, who was originally from Saugus. They describe a kind-hearted woman who was physically fit and very active. The campaign, titled "Justice for Angela," had raised about $19,000 in 12 hours, as of Monday morning.

As of Tuesday, Police in Phoenix, Ariz. do not suspect foul play in her death.

A Dangerous Climb

Captain McDade stressed that Camelback Mountain was not a place for casual hikers, especially ones not used to the desert heat, saying the trails on the mountain have double black diamond signs mounted to warn people of the extreme challenge.

"We've had to put out numerous warnings and campaigns, and tell the hotels in the area, 'Please don't send your people to the mountain with one bottle of water in an Uber that are visiting from Wisconsin. They're going to die," he said.

The captain said the investigation isn't complete, but it looks like Tramonte was probably dangerously dehydrated as she made her her way down the mountain and didn't realize that once she went off the trail to the house, the terrain was especially rugged. That terrain is part of the problem when hikers are in trouble on the mountain.

"It's not like finding somebody in the mall that's had a heart attack, where we can get them to a hospital in ten minutes," McDade said.

McDade said it's not uncommon for the department to get fatality calls from hikers on the four mountains in metropolitan Phoenix — he's had about fifty calls since becoming the department's Public Information Officer in 2016.

"It's a reminder that you always stick together with your hiking group to try to avoid this," he said. "If you send somebody off alone... you're asking for trouble," McDade continued.

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Written by Chaiel Schaffel

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