Lost hikers rescued near Vail | VailDaily.com

Lost hikers rescued near Vail

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL ” A 22-year-old woman and 27-year-old man were rescued about 12:30 p.m. Thursday after spending the night in the wilderness, according to an Eagle County Sheriff’s Office news release.

The woman called her father on a cell phone shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday to ask for directions out of the wilderness, where she and her boyfriend had become disoriented, the release said.

After her cell phone lost service, her father became concerned and contacted the Sheriff’s Office. Vail Mountain Rescue Group began searching on foot and with ATVs for the couple shortly after 10 p.m.

The hikers were located by a search and rescue team at 12:26 p.m., Thursday, near Piney Lake north of Vail.

The hikers lost their way on a snow-covered trail, but were able to follow the contour of the mountain and find the lake, where they camped overnight, said Tim Cochrane, coordinator for Vail Mountain Rescue Group, in the release.

“From a search and rescue standpoint, it went very well,” Cochrane said. “We were able to locate tracks in the snow and follow them.”

Hiking conditions can vary greatly during spring, he said.

At more than 11,000 feet, the trail to Piney Lake was covered by more than three feet of snow in some areas, he said.

To make rescue more likely, Cochrane said hikers should write down their plans, put them in an envelope on the front seat of their vehicle at the trailhead and lock the car. Rescue workers would retrieve the information if needed, he said.

“This stuff happens, and as a mountain rescue team we can only work with the information we have,” Cochrane said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.

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