First responders rescue a hiker trapped on a Colorado mountaintop with only a hoodie for warmth (Picture: Chaffee County Search and Rescue North)
An unprepared hiker was rescued after he was trapped in the Rocky Mountains with only a cotton hoodie for warmth.
Chaffee County Search and Rescue (CCSR) managed to find the hiker stranded in the Colorado Rockies after a devastating storm last Wednesday.
Earlier the same day, the hiker set off to bushwhack a trail to the 13,000-foot tall summit of Mount Princeton, CCSR said.
‘When inclement weather moved in the hiker found themself unprepared; out of water, with no food, wearing only a cotton hoodie and no way to warm themself,’ the organization said.
Rescuers search an avalanche chute on Mount Princeton (Picture: Chaffee County Search and Rescue North)
As darkness set in and temperature began to plummet, the hiker decided to follow an avalanche chute down, rather than turn around and follow his original path back.
An avalanche chute is a funnel-like clearing created by large, frequent avalanches, according to the US Forestry Service.
The hiker did have a cell phone and was able to contact rescuers for help. However, rescuers could not get a precise GPS location for the missing hiker – they could only tell they were somewhere in the avalanche chute.
About 25 rescuers from CCSR deployed to the backcountry to search for the missing hiker, which searched multiple avalanche chutes in the area.
The weather on Mount Princeton snows over an avalanche chute as rescuers attempt to extract the hiker (Picture: Chaffee County Search and Rescue North)
Around 12.40am on Thursday morning, a team or searchers found footprints in about 6-8 inches of snow.
‘This team continued to follow the footprints until they came upon an unusual looking rock at approximately 2am,’ CCSR said. ‘Upon further investigation it was determined it was not a rock but the subject sitting upright in a fetal position covered in snow.’
The missing hiker was ‘alive but very hypothermic,’ the rescuers said.
First responders spent about three hours warming the stranded hiker. They began the ‘long, strenuous, and arduous extraction’ around 5.00am.
Rescuers used ropes to hoist the hiker down the steep avalanche chute. They were able to walk by about 6.15am, and walked themselves into an ambulance around 7.00am.
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The hiker was trapped on a 13,000-foot mountain with just a hoodie for warmth.