"It is not safe to be outside" – Colorado firefighters suffer cold-related injuries while rescuing hypothermic hiker

North Cheyenne Canon Park, Colorado Springs, USA
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Firefighters from Colorado Springs have warned would-be adventurers to stay indoors after rescuing a hiker left stranded and immobile with frostbite and other injuries after attempting to hike alone in dangerously cold conditions.

The person, who hasn't been named, raised the alarm early on Saturday morning after getting into trouble at North Cheyenne Cañon Park. The area is popular with hikers, with an extensive network of trails, but a passing Arctic front has caused temperatures to plummet perilously low, making expeditions dangerous.

The problem was exacerbated by the steep terrain, which made it difficult for rescuers to find the injured person and bring them to safety. Colorado Springs Fire Department used a drone to locate the hiker on a rocky ledge, then began a complex rope rescue that involved a team hiking up to the patient's location.

"Cold weather not only puts our citizens at risk, but our firefighters as well because we have to work outside in these dangerously cold temperatures,” the department said in a safety video, which the team posted on Facebook after the rescue,

The hiker was transported to the hospital, but local news station KKTV reports that several members of the rescue team suffered symptoms of cold exposure and required treatment at the scene.

“It is not safe to be outside walking, hiking or biking. It is best to stay indoors for the next few days,” said Fire Lieutenant Jamie Gutschick.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook as very cold Arctic air remains locked in place, with temperatures struggling to climb above single digits. The NWS warns that wind chill readings today and tonight will drop as low as -30°F, which could cause frostbite in under 30 minutes.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.