Hikers rescued Friday after a night in the wilderness near Trappers Lake
A mother and her 14-year-old son were located and brought to safety Friday morning, with the help of some “good Samaritans,” after spending the night out in the backcountry in a remote part of northeastern Garfield County.
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Operations Division was notified about 11 p.m. Thursday that the two had set out for a hike earlier in the day and were apparently lost in the Flat Tops Wilderness between Trappers Lake and Stillwater Reservoir.
“The husband/father had set out to find them,” according to a Friday news release from the Sheriff’s Office. “Two ‘Good Samaritans’ he met along the trail joined in, and the three began the search on foot.”
Garfield County Search and Rescue sent out an alert shortly after midnight for all available members to meet at the operations barn in Rifle at 5 a.m. Friday.
“Cell service in the area is very limited; however, they were able to receive a ping from one cell phone to assist in finding approximate location coordinates of the hikers,” the release states. “Garfield County Sheriff’s Office along with Garfield County Search and Rescue coordinated their rescue efforts with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office and their Search and Rescue Team to begin at dawn.”
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Garfield County S&R deployed at Trappers Lake with Routt County beginning a ground search farther east from Stillwater Reservoir.
“Care flight was requested to join in the search with their helicopter to provide any necessary medical support and transport when the hikers were located,” the release states.
According to the sheriff’s officer report, a short message was received via 911 from the father shortly before 7 a.m., saying he could see the two lost hikers.
“By 7:30 a.m., Care flight announced that they had visual contact of all five hikers,” the release states. “They landed and transported the mother back to Trappers Lake, who was suffering from hypothermia and dehydration. One of the ‘Good Samaritans’ had twisted a knee in the rugged terrain, so Care flight returned and airlifted him to Trappers Lake.”
The other three hikers were able to walk out to Stillwater Reservoir, where Garfield Search and Rescue provided ground transport for the mother and other hiker to Stillwater Reservoir, an estimated two-hour drive.
“All parties would be safely re-united at Stillwater Reservoir,” the release states. “This was another successful mission of the volunteers of Garfield Search and Rescue. These volunteers are called upon regularly to assist in various rescues from water rescues to climbing accidents; they assist in the rescue of lost or injured hikers, travelers or other outdoor enthusiasts in the backcountry.”
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Ivan Jackson joined LIFT-UP as its new executive director in August.