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Backcountry skier found safe on the Grand Mesa after spending hours in frigid temperatures

backcountry skier rescue mesa county.jpeg
Posted at 11:57 AM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 13:57:37-05

DENVER — A backcountry skier and her dog were found safe after spending hours in frigid temperatures while out on the Grand Mesa.

A family member contacted the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at approximately 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to report a 61-year-old woman visiting from New Mexico was overdue and possibly lost.

Deputies, Careflight’s helicopter and the Mesa County Search and Rescue Snowskipper Team began searching the area in temperatures nearing 15 below zero and fresh snow. The cold weather caused electronics on the search snowmobiles to freeze multiple times, and one crew even became stranded.

At about 4:30 a.m., search crews found the woman and her dog several miles from the trailhead in an area of dense trees. Both were safe. Paramedics treated the woman on scene for exposure, but she was otherwise in good health.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office reminded anyone looking to recreate in the cold weather to let someone know the plans, including the location and an expected return time. It’s also a good idea to bring additional supplies, like extra food, water, items to start a fire and warm clothes, even for short trips.