DENVER (KDVR) — As the wintry weekend approaches search and rescue groups are preparing for their efforts to help people who head into the high country unprepared.
The Alpine Rescue Team, which has provided search and rescue services in Colorado for over 60 years, recorded over 130 calls per year since 2014. That much experience has put their group ready for when rescues are needed and they know how to prepare.
They have over 70 team members preparing for what is sure to be a snowy weekend in the high country.
“A little snow or storm down in Denver can really mean a huge winter storm up in the mountains so we have to be prepared,” said Steve Wilson, an Alpine Rescue team member.
Those preparations started way before this week, to fine-tune their efforts if someone needs help.
“From removing the summer-specific equipment that we have in our vehicles, putting new batteries into avalanche transceivers, making sure the things that were in storage over the summer are ready to go. We do that with our team equipment as well as our personal equipment,” Wilson said.
Winter rescues though are a bit different than those that happen in the summer or fall according to the group.
“It’s slower than the summer time in general, fewer people are in the mountains, fewer people need help in the mountains but the times when it does happen everything is more intense, there is more equipment that we need, the situations are in general a little more stressful and a little more urgent,” Wilson said.
The team is asking everyone planning to go into the mountains this weekend or beyond to be prepared.
Below are 10 essentials the team lists if you hit the mountains at any point in the year.
- First aid kit
- Map and compass
- Pocket knife
- Matches/fire starter
- Warm/rain clothing
- Emergency food
- Emergency water
During the winter though, it’s important to check for avalanche dangers too. You can find more info about that on the rescue team’s website.