Mountain rescue crew on training mission end up saving injured hiker for real

Organ Mountains, New Mexico, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

A mountain rescue team's training session took a surprising turn last week when the crew ended up carrying out a real life recovery operation.

The Organ Mountain Technical Rescue Squad, who operate in New Mexico, were carrying out annual training when they received a call for help from the other side of the mountain range. 

As KRQE News reports, when they arrived, the team of volunteers found that a hiker had strayed off trail and been hit on the head by a falling rock. He was with companions who had managed to stop the bleeding from his head injury, but needed assistance to get back on course.

"We were able to reach them, do a secondary assessment, and short roped the subject back to the nearest trail, where everyone was able to hike out safely," said the squad in a Facebook post.

"Good to be working with Mesilla Valley Search and Rescue, Doña Ana County Search & Rescue Association, Ltd. and LCFD [Las Cruces Fire Department] to make sure the hiker was able to get back down safely and reach more definitive care quickly."

The Organ Mountain Technical Rescue Squad specialize in technical rope rescue, mountaineering, cave rescue, and ground search. On 27 October, they helped save a group of 27 backpackers, most of whom were Boy Scouts, stranded by floodwaters in Gila National Forest. Heavy rains made normally easy river crossings impossible, and eventually the group were rescued with assistance from two National Guard helicopters.

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.