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 light”