Colorado search and rescue team save stranded hiker without leaving the office
Cliffed-out hiker told stranded as night falls calls for rescue and it never comes… But she still gets saved, over the phone
Night was approaching fast when a hiker became stranded on Castle Peak, the ninth highest summit of the Rocky Mountains, earlier this week. So she called for rescue and received an unexpected response from the mountain rescue crew: “Stay put and call us back in the morning.”
Well, not those exact words, but that was the gist of it. And then the next day the mountain rescue saved the hiker without even leaving the office, reports Out There Colorado (opens in new tab).
If that sounds like the search and rescue team being a little callous or maybe even lazy, far from it. If they can effect a successful rescue without putting any members of the team at risk, then that’s the perfect outcome.
According to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, a 24-year-old female hiker became lost on the backside of Castle Peak while attempting to drop down to Conundrum Hot Springs. However, before she made her destination, night fell, and though she wasn’t injured she was scared that she’d become “cliffed out” (meaning she couldn't workout how to climb either up or down safely) and wasn’t adequately equipped to for spending the night outdoors in the mountains.
So she called Mountain Rescue Aspen at 9.28pm for help. But, after talking to her, the team decided she was relatively safe where she was, considering the weather conditions, and that it’d be better for her to stay put than risk sending rescuers out in the dark.
Then the next morning, they managed to talk her down, describing a safe route to her over the phone. All accomplished with no extra risk to anyone else involved.
Mountain Rescue Aspen urge visitors to be familiar with their route, the expected time it might take to complete that route, and the equipment needed. And that includes a phone, of course, in case you do get into trouble.
For more advice see here’s what to do if you get lost hiking? Top tips for your mountain safety.
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