Chaffee County Search & Rescue Saves Unprepared Hiker

Chaffee Search & Rescue South on November 8th, 2023. (Image:

A hiker is lucky to be alive after a rescue from a 13er. Chaffee County Search and Rescue responded to the mountain on the night of Nov. 8th after receiving an urgent distress call. 

Search and Rescue said in “A hiker had bushwacked to summit a 13er earlier in the day. When inclement weather moved in, the hiker found himself unprepared; out of water, with no food, wearing only a cotton hoodie and no way to warm himself.”

A crew of more than two dozen trekked up the mountain in what was becoming a sever snowstorm. The initial call came in at 7 pm. As the hour approached 1 am, the team finally spotted footprints. The team continued to follow the footprints until they came upon an unusual looking rock at 2 am. Upon further investigation it was determined it was not a rock but the subject sitting upright in a fetal position covered in snow. 

The subject was assessed and found to be alive but very hypothermic. At 7 am, 12 hours after Search and Rescue was first paged to the mountain, the hiker made it to the waiting ambulance. 

Chaffee County Search and Rescue wants you to remember the “10 essentials” when traveling in the backcountry. Hydration, Nutrition, Navigation, Emergency Shelter, Extra Layers, Illumination, Fire Starter, First Aid Kit, Sun Protection and Repair Kit.

Dan R