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Gilpin County man rescued after being trapped in five feet of snow for 10 hours

Bren Wilson was trying to plow a path down Missouri Gulch Road when his tractor became stuck.
Bren Wilson
Posted at 10:32 PM, Mar 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-20 12:24:51-04

GILPIN COUNTY, Colo. — A Gilpin County man is recovering after he was trapped in five feet of snow for 10 hours during Thursday's major storm.

Bren Wilson was trying to plow a path Thursday night down Missouri Gulch Road about three miles from Highway 119 when his tractor got stuck. When his daughter, Kyla Wilson, didn't hear from him for a few hours, she immediately gave her father a call.

"He just sounded exhausted and a bit of panic in his voice, which is just completely not like him. And he said, 'I can't get to my phone right now. I don't know how long I can talk. I'm in rough shape. The tractor got stuck,'" Kyla explained.

Bren Wilson

Bren had been fighting through chest-deep snow when he decided to dig a snow cave and rest until rescuers arrived.

"I tried to tell him, I said, 'Where are you? What do you see? Don't build your cave in the middle of the road. You need to call 9-1-1. You need to call 9-1-1.' But the line disconnected and he didn't hear me," said Kyla.

Bren didn't know it, but the Alpine Rescue Team was staging at Gilpin County High School and was en route to him.

Steve Wilson was part of that mission. He said volunteers had to trudge through the snow on skis after their snowmobiles became stuck.

"At one point, our mission coordinator told us we had gone a quarter of a mile in four hours," said Wilson.

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Kyla was on the phone with her dad for over an hour and a half by the time Alpine Rescue volunteers found him at 4:41 a.m. Friday.

"I had just heard the voice of the Alpine Rescue Team, three of them had come up on skis and they said, 'We're with your dad.' And at that point, his phone died. That was the most perfect timing in the world," said Kyla.

While they had found the missing man, Steve explained the mission was far from over.

"Just getting to him isn't enough. We have to get him out," Steve emphasized.

Wilson was taken to Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge, where he was treated for hypothermia. He was released Friday afternoon.

Gilpin County man rescued after being trapped in five feet of snow for 10 hours

Kyla said she is forever grateful for those who rescued her dad at a time when he needed it most.

"I don't think there's ever going to be a way for me to repay that debt to all of those people who worked so hard all night to get to him," said Kyla.

Kyla is raising money not only to help pay for her dad's medical expenses but to support the Alpine Rescue Team. If you'd like to donate, click here.

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