Archive for tag: Rescues

Quandary Peak

SCRG knows that Quandary Peak has a reputation for being an "easy" 14er.  It might be easier than some of Colorado's other 14ers, but SCRG still responds to 10 to 15 calls on Quandary Peak every year.  Read SCRG member Daniel Dunn's account of a mission earlier this summer, courtesy of the Summit County Citizen's Voice:

Part 1

Part 2

SCRG evacuates injured hunter from Gore Range

Summit County Rescue Group responded to the Lower Cataract lake area for the evacuation of an injured hunter on Tuesday, November 9th.  A man, visiting from Wyoming, slipped on an icy trail while hunting in the area.  The man's son hiked out until he found someone with cell service and called 911.  Summit County Dispatch contacted the SCRG on-call coordinator, Glen Kraatz, regarding the evacuation of the injured man, at 8:10am. an "all call" page was issued immediately to the team.

17 rescuers responded to the Surprise Lake trail head, near Cataract lake.  Three paramedics from Summit County Ambulance service made initial contact with the patient and stabilized him.  The man was taken by litter to the trailhead, where he was met by an ambulance and transported to Summit Medical Center.

SCRG rescues lost hiker on Quandary Peak

At 9:08pm on Saturday, November 6th, Summit County dispatch received a 911 call requesting help in finding an overdue hiker on Quandary Peak.   According to the reporting party, the missing hiker, a 22-year-old man from the Colorado Springs area, left the Quandary trail head at 11:00am to summit  the peak.  Around 8:00pm the hiker contacted his friends saying his headlamp had died and he was "stuck."  The friends went to the trailhead in an attempt to locate their missing friend but were unsuccessful.   They then contacted 911 dispatch to request assistance in the search for their friend.  The Summit County Rescue Group received an activation page at 9:38pm

SCRG responders arrived at Quandary at 10:00pm.  The initial team of two located the reporting party and interviewed them to gather more information which would help in locating their friend, while they waited for additional personnel to arrive. Three teams were put into the field to search for the missing man.  The team highest on the mountain made contact with the man at approximately 12:00am.  He was found to be responsive, in good health but, tired, cold and hungry.  Responders escorted the man back to the trailhead where he was reunited with friends around 12:45am.

People can improve their success in hiking Colorado's peaks by starting early, sticking to their plans and being sure to have emergency supplies on their person at all times.   On a positive note, once the subject realized he was getting off course he requested help, sheltered himself from the wind and waited for assistance.

SCRG rescues man injured by beetle-kill tree

At 6:30 on Saturday, August 21st, the Summit County Rescue Group received an all call page to respond to the Meadow Creek trailhead for an injured hiker.
Three men, two from the Denver area and one from Frisco, were camping near Eccles Pass.  They had set up hammocks in the trees in a triangular formation, with two of the hammocks anchored to the same tree.  While two of the three men were in their hammocks, the shared tree fell over onto one man pinning him under the tree.  The second man fell to the ground and was momentarily stunned.  The third man was able to move the tree off of his pinned friend.  They then contacted emergency dispatch and requested help for their injured friend.
The Summit County Rescue Group sent an initial response team of three, consisting of a wilderness paramedic and two rescuers.  After evaluating the patient, Flight for Life was contacted and Life Guard 2 was launched to evacuate the injured man.  The helicopter was able to land in a meadow about 100 yards from the campsite.  The patient was airlifted to St. Anthony's Medical Center in Frisco.
SCRG advises backcountry travellers to be attentive to the beetle-kill tree hazard in the forests.  According to Dan Moroz with Lake Dillon Fire Rescue, over 90,000 trees per day fall in Colorado due to the extensive damage caused to the forest by the pine beetle infestation.  One should especially be cautious on windy days.

SCGR pulls an all nighter in the Northern Gore Range

Mirror Lake Katie

In a strenuous all-night effort, the Summit County Rescue Group evacuated an injured man from near Mirror Lake, in the Northern Gore Range, on July 29th.

The call came in at approximately 6:30 pm on the 28th, as the Group was conducting its regular Wednesday night training meeting.  Approximately 28 volunteer members responded directly from the meeting and staged at the Elliot Ridge trailhead.

The subject was a 78-year-old man from Alaska who was hiking with his 45-year-old son from Denver.  The man had slipped on a log and cut himself on a branch, and his son was able to make a 911 call from his cell phone.

The rescue was complicated by thunderstorms and periodic rain, and rescuers had trouble finding the subject during the night.  They finally camped for a few hours at about 2:00 am, and found him on the west side of Mirror Lake at 6:30 am.

Rescuers carried him as far as the wilderness border and then used an ATV and a wheeled litter carrier to bring him out, reaching the trailhead at about 1:30 pm.   He declined ambulance transport and was driven to the hospital by his son.

The hike was an annual one for the two experienced hikers, who were well-prepared for the backcountry.

Photo by Katie Menaugh of the Summit County Rescue Group

SCRG rescues cliffed-out hiker on Mount Royal

April 23, 2010-- The Summit County Rescue Group rescued a 22-year-old Minnesota man from the rock bands on the north side of Mount Royal last night.

The hiker, who was visiting friends in the county, set out for an afternoon hike at about 2:00 pm. Rather than following the trail he bushwacked straight up the north side of the mountain from the Frisco bike path, and eventually reached a steep, rocky area from which he could neither ascend nor descend. He called a local friend for help, who in turn called SCRG mission coordinator Dan Burnett. 15 volunteer rescuers from SCRG responded to the call at about 4:00 pm, and climbed in teams to reach the stranded hiker. The first rescuer to reach the subject, Special Operations Technician Mark Watson from the Sheriff's Office, built a fire to warm him. Then teams set up four 200-foot fixed ropes, and SCRG mission coordinator Jim Koegel rappelled the hiker down the mountain. He reached the bottom just before 10:00 pm. The rescue was complicated by heavy snowfall and fog, which made the terrain slippery and made it difficult for a spotter with a scope to assist in locating the hiker from the bottom. Increasingly dangerous conditions forced SCRG to abandon four ropes on the mountain.
SCRG reminds hikers to stay on the trail when hiking in unfamiliar areas. What looks like a doable route from a distance may actually be a technical climb requiring specialized equipment and climbing experience. Over the past few years, cliffed-out hikers on Quandary Peak and Mount Royal have become more frequent.
Photos: Rescuers Jim Levi and Aaron Parmet rig fixed lines to safely evacuate the cliffed-out climber. Rescuer Jim Levi surveys the route from the bottom of Mount Royal. Photos by Aaron Parmet.

SCRG responds to avalanche fatality in backcountry area near Arapahoe Basin

Steep gulleys avalanche, Sutton 3 smaller

Steep gulleys avalanche (left), Sutton

Photos by Chris Sutton of the Summit County Rescue Group
At approximately 2:50 pm today, March 10th, three snowboarders triggered an avalanche in a backcountry area off Highway 6. One man was ahead of the other two and was carried an estimated 1000 feet by the avalanche. His body was almost completely buried and landed one mile west of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on the south side. It took 20 to 25 minutes for his friends to descend to an area where they could make a 911 call.

All three of the men were from Spring Grove, Illinois and two of them, including the victim, have lived in the local area since November. The third was visiting Summit County and had just arrived two days ago. None of the three snowboarders were carrying avalanche probes, beacons or shovels.

The victim was a 20-year-old male. His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and will be released by the Summit County Coroner, Joanne Richardson. Cause of death is being withheld pending further investigation.

Approximately 37 rescuers responded to the call including volunteer members of the Summit County Rescue Group, and members of Arapahoe Basin Ski Patrol, Keystone Ski Patrol and the Summit County Ambulance Service. A team of rescuers hiked up to the area of the avalanche to find and recover the body, and set up an uphaul rope system to bring the victim up to Highway 6.

The snowpack this season has been highly unstable and with the recent new snow this week, the Summit County Rescue Group reminds all backcountry recreationalists to take extra precautions. Check the forecast with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, choose safe routes, carry avalanche gear and know how to use it.

The Summit County Rescue Group will be holding a free public avalanche rescue clinic this Sunday, March 14th, at 1:00 pm in Frisco. To register, email

Media contact: Anna DeBattiste, Public Information Officer, 303-817-5663

SCRG rescues lost snowshoers on Boreas Pass

At 4:00 pm on Sunday, February 28th, the Summit County Rescue Group received a 911 call from two snowshoers in the area of Boreas Pass/Baldy Mountain.

The rescue coordinator was able to make direct contact with the snowshoers via cell phone, and they stated that they were in a white-out and had become disoriented. Their intended route was to go from the Baldy trailhead up to the Iowa Mills mine site and then to the summit of Baldy Mountain, but when they saw lightning, they left their route for safety reasons.

23 volunteer rescuers responded during a heavy snowstorm and and began to search from both the Baldy and Boreas Pass trailheads, with some teams on snowmobiles and others on snowshoes or skis. The subjects were found approximately 3/4 of a mile north of Bakers Tank, at 7:45 pm. They were uninjured, and the mission wrapped up at approximately 9:00 pm

SCRG assists Lake Dillon Fire Rescue with motor vehicle accident

I-70 MVA Katie 034

The Summit County Rescue Group (SCRG) responded to a request for assistance from Lake Dillon Fire Rescue (LDFR) at 4:30 this afternoon.

A car traveling east on I-70 towards Eisenhower Tunnel went off the road near mile marker 211, plunging approximately 300 feet down a steep embankment. The two occupants of the vehicle suffered only minor injuries.

Colorado State Patrol, CDOT, the Summit County Sheriff's Office and the Summit County Ambulance Service also responded to the call, along with two fire engines from LDFR and 24 volunteer rescuers from SCRG.

SCRG assisted by setting up a rope and pulley system called a 3 to 1 mechanical advantage system. Fire fighters and SCRG members descended the embankment and loaded both patients into litters, which were then pulled up the embankment using the uphaul system. The rescue operation was finished by 6:30 pm.

Photo by Katie Menaugh

Two snowboarders caught in Loveland Pass avalanche

Loveland Pass avy Spencer Logan 3At approximately 3:00 pm this afternoon, the Summit County Rescue Group (SCRG) received a call regarding an avalanche off Highway 6 below the top of Loveland Pass. The initial call stated that two men had been caught, one was partially buried, and there were no injuries. Spencer Logan, an avalanche forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), had been on scene and helped rescue the partially buried subject.

Later reports, which turned out to be false, indicated that there might be further subjects buried in the slide, and that report triggered a full response from SCRG. These reports came from bystanders who were not aware of Logan's original report. Approximately 20 volunteer rescuers responded, along with several ski patrollers and an avalanche dog and handler from Arapahoe Basin.

Rescuers arrived to find a small avalanche partially covering the road, near mile marker 224, and ten to twelve bypassers probing debris. Probe lines were organized to search the slide, starting from the bottom.

Spencer Logan confirmed by phone that only the two snowboarders had been involved and there were no further burials. Shortly after that, the probe line finished and the rescue operation was called off at approximately 4:00 pm.

Logan later provided some further details. He stated that the two men were in their early 20's and were not carrying any avalanche gear. One was buried in a sitting position, with his snowboard approximately three feet below the surface; the other was unburied. Neither were injured. A passing car stopped to help and was attempting to dig out the subject with an ice scraper when Logan went by, on his way back from a field day. Logan was the second bypasser to pull over and assist, and he was able to unbury the subject with a shovel.

You can view the CAIC report here.

The Summit County Rescue Group would like to thank the many concerned bypassers who stopped to help, as well as the Arapahoe Basin ski patrol.

We would also like to remind recreationalists in the backcountry always to carry an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel, and know how to use them.


Photo credit: Spencer Logan, CAIC
Media contact: Anna DeBattiste, PIO, Summit County Rescue Group, 303-817-5663

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