AVSAR said it was contacted at 2:35 a.m. by Colorado State Patrol dispatchers who said two hikers were suffering from hypothermia in the Sangre de Cristo range near Lake Como.
Rescue crews arrived in the area and started driving Lake Como Road, which they said was exceptionally dangerous due to heavy rain, high chance for rockfall and extremely slippery rocks.
When rescue crews reached the hikers about a quarter mile from Lake Como, one was so cold that they could not move. AVSAR said the other hiker was vomiting, severely dehydrated and had a headache.
AVSAR said they gave the hikers hot water bottles and sugary drinks to rehydrate them and then brought them to the trail head to get checked out by EMS.
“Ignorance kills,” AVSAR said. “These hikers were highly unprepared. They had no extra clothing and no way to stay dry in their tent, with no rain fly. These hikers said they did not understand why it was so cold and rainy in Colorado, because it has been “so hot in Texas” where they hike all the time. They never checked any weather forecasts and did not have any extra food, water or layers for the intense hike in or the night to camp. This is an extreme example of how ignorance can kill people suddenly in these mountains.”
If you are hiking in Colorado, it is important to “know before you go.”
If you are not feeling well, you get lost, or you are struggling with an injury, be prepared to call for help if you need to.
- Have a COSAR card:
If a search and rescue team incurs expenses during a mission, they don’t bill it to the person they
helped. They (or the county sheriff under whom they operate) absorb that cost. Buying a CORSAR Card helps ensure that a county sheriff and the SAR team are financially prepared for the next mission — just as they were ready to help you because previous people they helped had a card and the team’s expenses were reimbursed. This card allows the responders to apply for reimbursement of extraordinary expenses, but not the normal operating or routine mission expenses.
Be sure to download the free Pinpoint Weather App to stay up-to-date with the newest data as it comes in.