September/October Vail Mountain Rescue missions
EAGLE COUNTY — In the months of Sept. and Oct., Vail Mountain Rescue Group was called out 11 times. Below are summaries of the most significant of those missions.
• At 6 p.m. Sept. 1, Vail Mountain Rescue Group dispatched two team members to search for ATV riders that had become separated from their group while descending from Lost Lake. The missing riders were reunited with their party while rescue members were en route to the scene. All rescuers were out of the field, without injury, by 6:30 p.m.
• At 5 p.m. Sept. 25, a hiker at Piney Lake reported by phone that she had become lost while hiking in the area and could not locate the trail back to her car. The subject, who was dressed in blue jeans and tennis shoes, reported that she had no jacket, water or food, and was not prepared to spend a night in the wilderness. Vail Mountain Rescue Group dispatched four searchers and a dog team to the trailhead and proceeded to the last known GPS location from the caller’s cell phone. After the VMRG dog team located the subject, searchers escorted the lost hiker back to her car at the trailhead. All searchers were out of the field, without injury, by 9:50 p.m.
• At 9:15 a.m. Oct. 10, Vail Mountain Rescue Group received a request for assistance from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen to assist in a search for two hikers from the Vail area who had been reported missing after climbing to the summit of North Maroon Peak in the Maroon Bells. Not long after the call for assistance, searchers located one of the missing hikers, who was injured and evacuated by helicopter, then located and recovered the body of the second hiker; all VMRG team members stood down from the mission.
• At 7:40 p.m. Oct. 18, a party of hunters who had been dropped by horseback by an outfitter at a remote wilderness camp above Holy Cross City used a satellite phone to report that one of the members of their group had fallen gravely ill. Vail Mountain Rescue Group dispatched a team of four ATV riders, who located the hunting party, and determined that the patient, who had just arrived in Colorado from the Midwest, was suffering from pulmonary edema, a life-threatening condition that required immediate hospitalization. After stabilizing the patient, the VMRG team requested assistance from a Flight for Life medical team, which arrived on the scene at 3 a.m., and airlifted the patient to Vail Valley Medical Center; the patient was treated and released later that day. All rescuers were out of the field, without injury, by 6 a.m. on Oct. 19.
• At 11:30 a.m. Oct. 20, Vail Mountain Rescue Group dispatched a backcountry medical team to locate and assist a hunter who had been seriously injured after being trampled by his horse in the backcountry near Box Canyon Lake; while the VMRG team was assembling, a Flight for Life medical team located the injured hunter, who was airlifted to Vail Valley Medical Center. All rescuers were out of the field, without injury, by 1 p.m.