DENVER, COLORADO — In a dramatic rescue operation, a Texas couple, Luis Allen and Jennifer Rosas, were saved after spending a frigid night on Colorado’s Bear Creek Trail. The incident, reported by the Montezuma County Search and Rescue Team and covered by The Journal, highlights the perils of outdoor recreation and the importance of preparedness.
On January 1st, Allen and Rosas, celebrating their first wedding anniversary, embarked on what they believed would be a 2.5-hour hike on Bear Creek Trail. Based on their internet research, they expected a straightforward loop but soon realized the trail’s winter conditions were vastly different. As night fell, with temperatures plummeting to 5 degrees, they found themselves unprepared for an overnight stay in the harsh elements.
A concerned family member’s alert initiated a search operation involving the Montezuma County Search and Rescue, K-9 Search and Rescue, the Sheriff’s Office, and the Flight For Life helicopter crew. The couple’s decision to let someone know their plan proved crucial in this situation. The rescue team, with low expectations due to the severe cold, located the couple seven miles up the trail, with Allen subsequently receiving treatment for mild frostbite.
LESSONS LEARNED: SAFETY TIPS FOR WINTER RECREATION
This incident underscores several vital outdoor safety lessons:
Research Thoroughly: Always verify trail conditions for the current season. Internet information might not be updated or accurate for different times of the year.
Start Early: Begin hikes earlier in the day to allow ample time for unexpected delays and to avoid being caught out after dark.
Carry the Essentials: Even on short hikes, carry the 10 essentials, including extra clothing, water, snacks, and emergency shelter.
Stay Calm and Seek Shelter: If stranded, find a sheltered spot and stay put, which aids rescuers in locating you.
Inform Someone: Always let someone know your hiking plan and expected return time.
Support Colorado SAR Teams with a COSAR Card
To support the invaluable work of Search and Rescue teams in Colorado, consider purchasing a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue (COSAR) Card. This program helps fund the state’s SAR operations, ensuring that adventurers who find themselves in peril can be assisted. Purchase your COSAR card and contribute to this life-saving service at COSAR Card Purchase.
This incident is a potent reminder of nature’s unpredictability and the need for preparedness and caution while enjoying Colorado’s majestic outdoors.