Two backcountry skiers learned some hard lessons last week after spending an unexpected night in the mountains and requiring a rescue the following day.
Summit County Rescue Group was called on July 17 to rescue two backcountry skiers that were overdue in the Gore Range, CO.
The two experienced skiers had planned a day of hiking and skiing, but a series of problems and mistakes left them spending a cold night on the mountain.
The rescuers found the two skiers uninjured and could walk out on their own. During that walk, the two communicated their mistakes to rescuers and the lessons they’d learned:
- they should have packed for a longer adventure in case things went south
- they should have had a backup option for the batteries that died on their cell phones, and Garmin Inreach
- they also had to decide between two lousy options – ascend a ridge in a lightning storm, or descend into an area they didn’t know that turned out to have some very rough terrain.
Things can go wrong in the backcountry, but the important thing is that we do what these subjects did by analyzing our options and the potential consequences as thoughtfully as possible rather than making hasty decisions, advises SCRG.