Two “ill equipped” hikers were rescued over the weekend during an attempt to summit 13,409-foot Navajo Peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The men were found near the summit of 12,967-foot Shoshoni Peak with their dog. According to rescuers, the men were wearing shorts and tank tops during the climb.
While choice of outfit, along with other factors, resulted in the men being described as “ill-equipped” in the official news release, they did have a satellite phone with them, which allowed them to call for rescue from such an isolated spot. The dispatch center received the call at approximately 5:30 PM on September 15, 2018, able find the men and make contact several hours later at 10:40 PM.
A technical rescue was launched, and nearly 9 hours later the two men and their dog arrived at Brainard Lake with the rescuers.
This case seems to continue a dangerous trend of lack-of-preparedness of those exploring Colorado’s high-altitude terrain. When you’re doing anything at such a high-altitude, you need to make sure you’ve got layers available for potentially changing weather. It’s also crucial that you have studied your route and know where you’re headed as rescues are difficult in this terrain. Had the men not had a satellite phone with them to make a call for help, this situation could have been much worse.
While ‘thirteeners’ have many of the same challenges and risks as Colorado’s popular ‘fourteeners,’ they’re vastly less popular, making the trails much more rugged and difficult to follow.
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