• Jun 1, 2022

Chaffee County Search and Rescue-North responded to two calls for aid Memorial Day weekend.

One call came at 3:45 p.m., Saturday, May 28 from a hiker who was separated from his hiking partner and was suffering from altitude sickness while hiking Mt. Princeton, according to a post on CCSAR-N’s Facebook page.

Four members each from Chaffee County Search and Rescue-North and -South took to the field and met the man at 13,500 feet. There they assessed his condition, administered oxygen and helped him hike down the mountain. The group arrived safely back at base at 9 p.m. that night.

The second call came earlier that day at 9:45 a.m. from a solo climber cliffed-out below the ridge between the summit of Missouri Mountain and Elkhead Pass. He said he slid 400 feet and was unable to ascend or descend. The climber was able to send out an emergency distress call from his personal locator beacon and CCSAR-N immediately responded.

Unable to send a team in via helicopter due to strong winds, CCSAR-N had a team of seven climbers hike to the site via the Missouri Gulch Trailhead. From there CCSAR-N had two of the climbers ascend to a coulior west of the stranded climber’s position and traverse over to his location. Upon reaching the stranded climber, the team was able to lower them down to a snow field and then rappelled down the cliff themselves.

From there Search and Rescue-North escorted the climber out to the Missouri Gulch Trailhead.

The team left the site at 7:30 p.m., the operation taking about 10 hours to complete.

CCSAR-N posted a notice on Facebook May 30 asking climbers to be careful with the difficult terrain in the area and to be aware that winter (deep snow) and spring conditions make the terrain more challenging than usual.