A Chicago family was rescued in the Greenhorn Mountains during a hiking excursion gone wrong over their Colorado vacation.
Incredible teamwork and tenacity of several Pueblo County Sheriff’s units, Rye Fire & Flight for Life led to the successful rescue of a Chicago family of five after they became fatigued and stranded in the Greenhorn Mountains Wednesday evening. Read more https://t.co/RgrsItM7LW pic.twitter.com/srl9UFp7kG— PuebloCounty Sheriff (@PuebloCountySO) November 24, 2023
According to the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, the family of three adults and two children experienced hardship due to unexpected snow and fatigue from the high altitude.
As dusk neared, they called 911, and a search and rescue team was organized by the sheriff’s office, Rye Fire, and Flight for Life.
It took seven hours to retrieve the family and bring them to safety. GPS tracking helped the team.
Flight for Life airlifted search and rescue members while firefighters hiked to the family from the Bartlett Trailhead.
They helped the family hike to emergency vehicles that awaited them at Ophir Creek.
The success of the rescue was attributed to the family’s proper preparedness. Although the hike became too much for them, they had told others where they were going and also brought a survival kit with them in case of emergency.
The sheriff’s office noted that in addition to these basic survival methods, “They also had the awareness to call for help before it became a life-threatening emergency, before it got dark, and before their cell phone died.”
“They also followed 9-1-1 operator instructions and remained in one location until rescuers could arrive and locate them,” the sheriff’s office added.
The hikers were commended for their awareness and cooperation.
This situation has led the sheriff’s office to remind others of the dangers of unpredictable terrain. With high altitudes and changing weather, a simple hike can turn into a dangerous situation.
They warned, “We remind hikers or anyone going on trails or in the mountains to be prepared and aware of conditions and abilities before going out.”
“Especially this time of year when conditions can change rapidly, and the sun sets earlier,” the sheriff’s office added.