September unusually busy for local backcountry rescue group | SummitDaily.com

September unusually busy for local backcountry rescue group

ROBERT ALLEN
summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – A 71-year-old Colorado woman who needed help off Little Chief mountain near Frisco Friday was one of about eight calls for Summit County Rescue Group this month.

“It’s an interesting shift seeing as many calls as we are after Labor Day; that’s a surprise to me,” group spokesman Jim Koegel said of the increase from previous years.

The woman on Friday had been hiking with a group up Meadow Creek trail north of Frisco. She sat down to rest, and when it was time to continue, she couldn’t move, Koegel said.

Fourteen rescuers were in the field, and it took about an hour to reach the woman.

“She stood up when we got there and fell down and cut herself,” he said.

A rolling litter was brought, but the woman was able to walk out on her own. Koegel said it’s important to “eat a good breakfast that will last you a long time” and drink plenty of water when hiking.

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The local backcountry rescue group responded to four requests for help Sept. 11 on Quandary Peak.

About 150 firefighters were climbing the 14,265 foot mountain to commemorate the victims of terrorist attacks in 2001. And the group had members stationed at three areas to help.

“None of the firefighters had any trouble,” Koegel said.

He said there was a woman with an injured ankle near Quandary’s summit among another injury and two lost hikers.

Despite the day of action on Quandary, Koegel said noticeably fewer serious rescue incidents have occurred this year on what is one of the state’s most popular Fourteeners.

In 2009, at least eight separate rescues were executed on the mountain during summer months. The consistently high number of serious situations led to the placement of warning signs letting people know routes and offering tips for hikers.

“We like to think (the signs helped); for people who show up unprepared, that gives them some information,” Koegel said.

Boy scout Derrick Trotman raised more than $1,800 last fall to create the signs for his Eagle Scout project, according to a previous report.

SDN reporter Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or rallen@summitdaily.com.