Colorado: Man survives night outside by climbing tree |

Colorado: Man survives night outside by climbing tree

Sky-Hi Daily News staff report
Photo courtesy Grand County Search and Rescue

The man who was rescued near Berthoud Pass on Wednesday spent the previous night moving around and climbing up and down a tree to stay warm, according to Grand County Search and Rescue officials.

Guang Ming Lang, a 26-year-old Chinese citizen who speaks limited English and is a graduate student at University of Michigan, “left the top of Berthoud Pass at 6:30 p.m. (Tuesday) with no snow travel equipment, no food, no water, no map or compass, no light source and wearing light weight clothing and low cut boots,” according to information provided by Search and Rescue.

The organization was paged at 10:51 p.m. Tuesday and located Lang after he managed to walk out to U.S. Highway 40 on the west side of the pass, where he was picked up by a passing motorist who dropped him off when he came upon a Serach and Rescue vehicle parked at the Current Creek trailhead. That was at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Avalanche danger in the Berthoud area was “considerable,” according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, which said human-triggered slides were probable.

Lang had just arrived in Colorado with two traveling companions and was bound for Winter Park on vacation. When they arrived at the top of Berthoud Pass he decided to try and climb Colorado Mines Peak.

Lang said that he spent most of the night traveling and was afraid to lay down because he thought that would lower his heart rate and he would not survive. He was suffering from mild hypothermia and probably had some frostbite on his feet. He was transported to 7 Mile Clinic in Winter Park by ambulance.

Searchers had tracked him to the top of Colorado Mines Peak before losing his tracks on hard, windblown snow and rock. A search team was stationed at the top of the peak through the night in the hopes that Lang would return to the summit.

During the search, two members of Alpine Rescue Team were caught briefly in an avalanche in the Floral Park area. They were not injured, but it was a tense moment for the search crew.

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