On Sunday 9/6, AVSAR was called out for three hikers who had become cliffed out on their descent down from Ellingwood Point, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The three hikers were cliffed out on a ledge approximately 600ft above the South Zapata Lake Basin above a large scree field. AVSAR requested help from Flight for Life, Lifeguard 4, to fly over the area and get coordinates of the hikers and to insert team members via helicopter into the South Zapata Lake Basin. The helicopter flew over the hikers and successfully got coordinates of the hikers, but because of the high temperatures and high speed winds, were not able to insert team members. Team members began hiking in on foot to the cliffed out hikers. Teams were able to make contact with the cliffed out hikers at dark and camped out for the evening in preparation of assisting the hikers down in the morning. Teams successfully set up a hand line to assist the hikers down in the morning, down off their ledge. After arriving in the South Zapata Lake Basin, teams packed up their camps, along with the hikers camps and began the descent down to the trailhead.
All teams were off the mountain at 1457 (9/7). AVSAR would like to remind everyone to research your route. These hikers got into sketchy terrain when they made a wrong turn between the C2 and C3 colouir.
We would like to thank Flight for Life for assisting us in finding the hikers and for bringing in additional supplies to team members the next morning, Colorado Search and Rescue Association (CSAR) for providing needed support for resources,the Alamosa County Victim’s Advocates for gathering food and drinks for our tired and hungry team members, and to the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office for delivering much needed food and drinks to our exhausted teams.
Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office
Flight For Life Colorado
Colorado Search and Rescue Association – CSAR
• 10/11- 10/15