July/August Vail Mountain Rescue missions
EAGLE COUNTY — In the months of July and August, Vail Mountain Rescue Group was called out 22 times. Below are summaries of the most significant of those missions.
At 6 p.m. July 4, Vail Mountain Rescue Group dispatched team members to carry out a hiker who was injured in the Missouri Lakes backcountry. After evacuating the injured hiker to an ambulance, all team members were out of the field by 8:30 p.m.
At 4 p.m. July 9, aviators from the High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site at Eagle County Airport airlifted a Vail Mountain Rescue Group hoist team in a UH-60 Black Hawk to the summit of the Mount of the Holy Cross to evacuate an 82-year-old hiker who had activated a personal locater beacon after breaking his hip in a fall. After rescuers packaged the patient in a litter and hoisted him into the helicopter, the patient was airlifted to Vail Valley Medical Center for treatment. All rescuers were out of the field by 8:30 p.m.
At 11:30 a.m. July 16, a HAATS UH-60 Black Hawk transported a Vail Mountain Rescue Group hoist team to Peak One to assist Summit County Rescue Group in evacuating a juvenile hiker who had sustained serious injuries after tumbling into a ravine. After the patient was hoisted into the HAATS helicopter, he was airlifted St. Anthony Summit Medical Center for treatment. All rescuers were out of the field by 2 p.m.
On July 17 at 5:30 p.m., Vail Mountain Rescue Group dispatched a team of 10 rescuers to Shrine Pass to search for an overdue hiker last seen at Vail Pass earlier that day. Rescuers located the hiker in Red Cliff and transported the subject — who was exhausted but otherwise unharmed — to family members waiting at VMRG headquarters in Edwards. All rescuers were out of the field by 10:30 p.m.
On July 19 at 7:30 a.m., Vail Mountain Rescue Group sent rescuers up the Cross Creek Trail to locate a missing hiker who had summited the Mount of the Holy Cross the previous day but had become disoriented and had descended into the Cross Creek drainage. After finding the lost party on the Cross Creek trail, rescuers escorted the hiker to the trailhead. All rescuers were out of the field by 2 p.m.
On July 30 at 6:30 a.m., a HAATS UH-60 Black Hawk transported a Vail Mountain Rescue Group hoist team to Mount Powell to evacuate a hiker who had dislocated his shoulder the previous evening in a fall just below the mountain’s summit. After being hoisted into the helicopter, the patient was airlifted to an ambulance waiting at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. All rescuers were out of the field by 6:50 a.m.
At 9:37 p.m. Aug. 4, Vail Mountain Rescue Group dispatched two teams of rescuers to Homestake Reservoir to search for an 83-year-old missing hiker who became separated from her party on the Lonesome Lake trail earlier that evening. At 2 a.m., rescuers located the missing hiker, who was cold but uninjured, and escorted her back to the trailhead. All rescuers were out of the field by 5:45 a.m. on Aug. 5.
At 4 p.m. Aug. 6, Vail Mountain Rescue Group dispatched rescuers to Shrine Pass to assist Summit County Rescue Group in evacuating an injured hiker from the Shrine Pass Trail. The hiker, who had suffered a compound ankle fracture, was carried down the trail in a litter to an ambulance waiting at the trailhead. All rescuers were out of the field by 9 p.m.
At 12:30 p.m. Aug. 27, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office requested a team of searchers from Vail Mountain Rescue Group and Eagle River Fire Protection District to conduct an evidence search in the Eagle River in Eagle-Vail. All searchers were out of the field by 2:30 p.m. At 12:30 p.m. the next day, two VMRG dog teams were dispatched to search the area, and were out of the field by 1:30 p.m.
Vail Mountain Rescue Group is an all-volunteer organization based in Edwards that does not charge for the services it provides and does not receive any direct government funding to support its operations. For backcountry safety tips or information about how to join the team see vailmountainrescue.org. For information about how to join Friends of Mountain Rescue and assist with VMRG’s fundraising efforts or to donate to the team’s professionally managed endowment, see vailmountainrescue.org/friends.