SCRG Boat Mission

Why Summit County Rescue Group Used a Boat to Save an Injured Mountain Biker

10/22/23 Correction: The original post was updated to correct an exact quote from SCRG.

FRISCO, COLORADO — In a rare mode of emergency response, Summit County Rescue Group (SCRG) utilized Marine One, a boat, to rescue an injured mountain biker on the Aftermath trail on the Frisco peninsula last Friday evening. The incident has prompted SCRG to issue a warning to the general public regarding the trail’s level of difficulty and inherent risks.

The mountain biker, who was an experienced trail rider, sustained injuries while navigating Aftermath, a recently developed “jump trail” in the area. Following a quick assessment by the mission coordinator and sheriff’s office special operations technicians, it was determined that the fastest and most effective way to reach the injured individual would be by boat. Marine One was immediately dispatched to the scene, and SCRG successfully conducted the rescue.

Aftermath trail has been the subject of local discussion for its challenging features and unique appeal to the mountain biking community. Jeff Lehmann of McGill Trail Fabrication described it to the Summit Daily as, “high speed and eclectic…an intermediate to advanced jump line with gap features.” SCRG has reiterated Lehmann’s description in their warning, emphasizing that Aftermath is a trail designed for experienced mountain bikers.

“We wish our mountain biker a speedy recovery, and we’d also like to warn the general public that Aftermath, the new “jump trail” on the peninsula, is for experienced mountain bikers (which our rescue subject was),” said a post from SCRG (see below).

Safety Tips for Mountain Bikers

In light of the recent incident, SCRG urges all mountain biking enthusiasts to adhere to the following safety tips:

  1. Know the Trail: Always research the trail you plan to ride. Make sure it matches your skill level and that you are aware of its specific features and challenges.

  2. Wear Protective Gear: Helmets, gloves, knee and elbow pads can make a significant difference in minimizing injuries during falls or collisions.

  3. Ride with a Buddy: Whenever possible, avoid biking alone, especially on challenging trails. If you do find yourself in an emergency situation, having someone there can be lifesaving.

  4. Carry Essential Supplies: Pack a first-aid kit, water, and some form of communication device. In remote areas, consider carrying a GPS locator.

  5. Inform Someone: Let someone know your itinerary and when you plan to return, especially if you are riding in remote or challenging areas.

  6. Listen to Your Body: Do not push yourself too hard. Recognize your limits and do not take unnecessary risks.

  7. Obey Trail Signs and Warnings: Always adhere to any posted signs or advisories. They are there for your safety.

Mountain biking is an exhilarating but inherently risky activity. As the recent rescue operation demonstrates, even experienced riders can find themselves in hazardous situations. The SCRG’s rescue serves as a vital reminder of the importance of taking all necessary precautions before heading out on the trails. Learn more in our mountain safety guide. 

You can support Colorado’s search and rescue volunteers throughout the state by purchasing an annual COSAR Card.

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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