On October 16, 2021 AVSAR and Saguache County Search & Rescue concluded their Recovery Operations for Madeline Bahralou-Quivey.
In the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, October 12, 2021 AVSAR, along with Saguache County SAR, Chaffee County Search and Rescue – South and Chaffee County Search and Rescue North began inserting teams to begin the search for Madeline. Unfortunately, due to extreme weather, after searching for hours, teams were turned around. On Wednesday October 13, 2021 a combined agency search team of Western Mountain Rescue Team and AVSAR located the body of Madeline Baharlou-Quivey in Class 5 terrain on Kit Carson Peak. Because of expected inclement weather on the way, it was decided that recovery operations would be delayed until Saturday October 16, when teams would have the best weather window to work with in such dangerous terrain.
On Saturday, October 16, 2021, four AVSAR team members were inserted by Canon Helitak to begin their ascent up to Madeline’s location. They traversed and climbed over very technical, class five terrain to begin and accomplish the recovery. Saguache County Search and Rescue had three team members standing by, in the case that additional support was needed. This mission proved how close relationships between teams is absolutely essential. One AVSAR team member and one SAGSAR member collaborated and ran Incident Command together for the final day.
Our condolences go out to all of Madeline’s family and loved ones. Madeline was a beautiful soul, who impacted so many lives, and was taken too soon.
AVSAR cannot thank all of the agencies who helped assist in this search. We are beyond thankful that all teams remained safe and unharmed during this incredibly difficult and dangerous mission.