Gilpin County Man Rescued

Gilpin County Man Rescued After Harrowing 10-Hour Ordeal in Deep Snow

GILPIN COUNTY, COLORADO  A local Gilpin County resident, Bren Wilson, has made a miraculous recovery after being trapped in a daunting five feet of snow for nearly 10 hours. The incident occurred during a severe snowstorm that swept through the area on Thursday.

Bren Wilson found himself in a perilous situation while attempting to clear a path on Missouri Gulch Road, approximately three miles from Highway 119. His tractor became immobilized in the heavy snowfall, leading to an unexpected fight for survival against the elements.

Wilson’s ordeal began Thursday night and lasted into the early hours of Friday. Concerned for her father’s well-being after not hearing from him for hours, Kyla Wilson reached out to her father. “He sounded exhausted and panicked, which was completely unlike him,” she recounted. Bren Wilson, trapped and unable to move, informed his daughter of his critical situation before the call was abruptly disconnected.

In a bid for survival, Bren decided to dig a snow cave as a temporary shelter while waiting for rescue. Meanwhile, the Alpine Rescue Team, unaware of Bren’s exact location, prepared for a challenging rescue mission from Gilpin County High School.

The rescue effort faced significant hurdles, with volunteers having to ski through deep snow after their snowmobiles became stuck. “It took us four hours to cover a quarter of a mile,” explained Steve Wilson, a volunteer with the Alpine Rescue Team.

The breakthrough came at 4:41 a.m. Friday, when rescuers finally located Bren Wilson. Kyla Wilson, who had been on the phone with her father for over an hour, expressed immense relief and gratitude upon hearing the rescuers’ voices. “That was the most perfect timing in the world,” she said.

Bren Wilson was transported to Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge, where he was treated for hypothermia. He was discharged Friday afternoon, grateful to be alive and well.

The Wilson family is now focusing on giving back to the community that saved Bren’s life. Kyla has initiated a fundraising campaign to cover medical expenses and support the Alpine Rescue Team. Donations can be made at Help My Dad Recover from Hypothermia.

Safety Tips for Winter Weather Emergencies

  • Stay Prepared: Always have emergency supplies in your vehicle, including blankets, food, water, and a fully charged cell phone.
  • Inform Someone: Before heading out, inform someone about your destination and expected return time.
  • Avoid Solo Tasks: If possible, avoid going out alone for tasks such as plowing or shoveling snow.
  • Know Your Limits: Don’t overexert yourself in cold temperatures; hypothermia can set in faster than you might expect.
  • Emergency Training: Basic knowledge of first aid and survival techniques can make a significant difference in emergencies.


The community’s swift action and the bravery of the Alpine Rescue Team highlight the importance of preparedness and community support in times of crisis.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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