Survival by cell phone and always being prepared |

Survival by cell phone and always being prepared

Just after accused serial rapist Brent Brents was hiding in a vacant apartment near where I live in Denver, a snowshoer, Steven Brodsky, was huddled in a snow cave on Guanella Pass.It is all about survival.Brent Brents (sounds like an alias to me) was hiding from the police after allegedly committing several heinous sexual assaults in Denver. He found a vacant apartment on Marion Street and stayed there until a woman came to check on the unit. He attacked her and then ran out into the community where he found another woman, kidnapped her, and took her away through Summit County into Glenwood Springs. He was tracked all along the route using the signals from her cell phone that was on in the back seat.

Your cell phone calls each cell tower nearby to check for messages. As it is checking while you drive down the road, the phone system is keeping track of where you are.If the victim had shut her phone off, she might be dead today. Instead, the Denver Police Department could track her all the way to Glenwood Springs.Police were able to tip off the local police to stop the vehicle. Brent Brents made a wrong turn and went up a mountain road that was not plowed. The chase was over, and the woman was rescued.The snowshoer on Guanella Pass was not found because of technology or a cell phone. He was found alive and well because he was well prepared and smart – smart enough to take the right things to live on top of the world on a barren pass for three days.The news reports said he had a small cut on his finger and was sunburned. He had dug a snow cave and started a fire using a broken cigarette lighter and some toilet paper. He was walking well and laughing when I saw him on TV after the rescue.

Brent Brents wasn’t.When I first moved to Colorado in 1970, a friend and I signed up to take a survival course being offered by the U.S. Forest Service in Lakewood. I never used most of what I learned, but I was always ready.I remember preparing a sealable plastic bag with matches, fishing line, hooks, aspirin and bandages. I carried it in my backpack every time I went into the woods, just waiting to get lost and then use my talents. Fortunately, I never had to use what I had learned.I climbed Long’s Peak with my trusty survival bag. I felt safe skiing Independence Pass with what I had in my bag. I am sure the bag is still around, but I am not sure where.When I worked for Summit County Sheriff Delbert Ewoldt, he always stopped to get gas on his way home from Breckenridge to Dillon Valley. He wanted to always have a full tank if he was called out.

He also had a full set of survival gear in the trunk of his patrol car. Even in the summer, he would have a snowmobile suit, boots, MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) and anything and everything else you could imagine.He and I remembered the school principal who was missing driving from Kremmling to Buena Vista several years ago. When he was finally found, he had driven off Highway 9 north of Silverthorne and had plunged down into the Blue River.He was trapped in his car for several days. He had been drinking river water and was waiting to be freed. He was no worse for wear, but it was a great object lesson to everyone at the Sheriff’s Office. It could happen to anyone.Sheriff Ewoldt was ready if that would ever happen to him. The point of all of this is we all need to be ready to spend three days on top of a pass. We all need to be prepared to be carjacked and kidnapped. God forbid it would ever happen again, but we need to be ready.State Rep. Gary Lindstrom represents Summit, Eagle and Lake counties in the state House of Representatives. He is a Democrat. He can be reached at His website is

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