Sheriff ‘very surprised’ to find hiker missing for 3 nights alive

KUSA Oct. 10, 2017.  A hiker who was reported missing after he failed to return from an attempt to summit Missouri Mountain Saturday has been found safe after spending three nights in the wilderness in sub-freezing temperatures. Shuei Kato, 36, was first reported missing early Sunday morning, according to the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office. He had left to climb the 14,075-foot peak Saturday. The search for Kato was suspended Sunday night and was slated to resume Monday morning – a day in which searchers were cited concerns about blizzard conditions. Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said Kato was found Tuesday afternoon and is “ok.” Spezze said he was “very surprised” to find him alive and that searchers planned to make it a mission to recover his body if he hadn’t been found by Wednesday. This weekend, 45 ground searchers along with three helicopters tried to find Kato unsuccessfully. A helicopter spotted a fire Kato built at around noon Tuesday in the Pine Creek Drainage around five miles from the Missouri Mountain summit. Miraculously, he did not need medical attention and is reunited with his family. When he was found, he only had a coat and a couple other layers on. He also had “very...

Ongoing Search for Mission Hiker

Press Release, Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, October 8, 2017 On 10/08/17 at approximately 2am the Chaffee County Sheriff Communication Center received a call of a possible missing hiker on Mount Missouri, which is a fourteen thousand foot peak in northern Chaffee County. According to the caller, Shuei Pako, age 36, from Silverthorne, Colorado had summited Mount Missouri in the morning hours on October 7th and was to have returned to Silverthorne in the afternoon of the same day. Pako failed to return as was planned. Chaffee County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the trailhead and located Pako’s vehicle. Chaffee County SAR North was notified. An extensive search began on October 8th using Chaffee County SAR North and South, Summit SAR, Lake County SAR, as well as air support from Flight for Life, Reach Air Ambulance and the Air National Guard, H.A.T.C., based out of Eagle County. Over 45 ground searchers participated as well as 3 helicopters, however Pako was not located. The search was suspended due to nightfall. The search is scheduled to resume on Monday, October 9th, however a large cold front with possible blizzard conditions is due to arrive in the Collegiate Peaks Range on Monday which could hamper search operations. The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and Chaffee County SAR will evaluate the weather conditions on Monday morning and a decision on search operations will be made at that...

ATV Accident Near St. Elmo

Chaffee County Sheriff Press Release, July 31, 2017 On July 30th at 1725 hours the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office received a call of an ATV accident on FS Road 295, which is in the St Elmo area. Deputies from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and Chaffee County EMS responded to the accident. Upon arrival responders found a male, Joshua Fisher, age 23 from Peyton, Colorado, pinned under the ATV who was suffering from numerous injuries. Fisher was evacuated from the scene via air ambulance. A female, Erin Orr-Scheel, age 21 from Colorado Springs, Colorado, had been ejected from the ATV and was unresponsive. CPR was performed on the victim, however she was pronounced dead at the scene. The Chaffee County Coroner responded to the scene and transported the victim to Salida,...

SAR teams, chopper rescue hiker near Tabeguache

Sam Liebl, The Mountain Mail | July 26, 2017 Chaffee County search and rescue teams and a helicopter rescued a hiker with severe injuries Thursday from above Browns Lake near Tabeguache Peak. The hiker suffered injuries at around noon while descending a snowfield, according to a press release issued Friday by Chaffee County Search and Rescue-North, which did not identify the hiker. Two of the hiker’s siblings hiked out to the Browns Creek trailhead and called 911 at 4 p.m. A REACH Air Medical Services helicopter responded to the scene, but the helicopter’s crew reported the hiker was on a steep talus field and would require a technical evacuation, the release stated. A helicopter flew three Chaffee County Search and Rescue-North members to the scene to provide medical attention and to haul the hiker 900 feet up the slope to a place where the helicopter could land. Search and Rescue members dispatched six vehicles up Baldwin Creek to set up a radio relay and evacuate the remaining four family members and the technical team. A team of hikers was also on standby at the Browns Creek trailhead in case weather prevented the helicopter from evacuating the injured person. The hiker was airlifted off the mountain at 8:56 p.m., the rest of the hiker’s party joined the motorized team at Browns Lake at 9:15 p.m. and everyone involved in the rescue was out of the field by 2 a.m....

Search and Rescue logs busy week

Max R. Smith, Chaffee County Times Reporter, July 20 2017| Summer weather and visitors are beginning to tax volunteer-staffed Chaffee County Search and Rescue-North, which has responded to three dozen missions this year. CCSAR-N president Scott Anderson said there has been an uptick in the frequency of calls this year. “I believe that social media has increased the popularity of the 14ers without stressing the reality of the difficulties,” Anderson said. A long week for volunteers began when a search for an overdue hiker on Mount Antero led Chaffee County Search and Rescue-North on a mission that lasted through the night Friday into Saturday morning, July 8, according to CCSAR-N president Scott Anderson. “It’s just a huge area to cover,” Anderson said. A call came in at around 7:15 Friday night that the hiker was overdue. Sheriff’s office vehicles couldn’t get up to the Baldwin Gulch trailhead for several hours because of mudslides (on CR 162), Anderson said. Once they were able to get to the trailhead, they found the hiker’s vehicle still empty. SAR then sent an ATV team up the mountain. “It was 1:50 in the morning before they even started up the trail,” Anderson said. The ATV team searched the main route of the trail first, waking and interviewing every camper they came across. At 4 a.m., they reached the summit without finding the missing hiker. The team then decided to prepare a second operational period to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday once the sun had come up. This time, ATVs and jeeps went up every trail to the summit. A hiking team went up Brown’s...