Two teenage cousins who were on an overnight winter camping trip were found early Monday morning suffering from frostbite and their tent “shredded by the wind” after a more than 18-hour rescue effort, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said, reports KDVR.
The 16- and 18-year-olds set out for a night of winter camping in western Boulder County, CO on Saturday afternoon and planned to return Sunday morning, the sheriff’s office said.
When they didn’t return as scheduled, the teens’ parents reported them overdue to the sheriff’s office about 6:15 pm Sunday. Deputies and rescue personnel began searching trailheads trying to find the teens’ vehicle. Snow conditions complicated the initial search of the vehicle.
Just before 1:00 am Monday, the vehicle was found in the parking lot of the Mitchell Lake trailhead in the Brainard Lake Recreational Area near Ward.
A search began about 3:00 am and at 6:30 am, one of the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group search teams established voice contact with the teens and found them about 10 minutes later, the sheriff’s office said.
Both teens were cold and wet, their shoes were frozen and they appeared to be suffering from frostbite. Strong winds had shredded their tent, which was filled with snow, and the teens’ camping gear and provisions also were frozen.
Another Rocky Mountain Rescue Group team hiked in dry clothes, socks, and boots for the two. After changing, they hiked with rescue crews to the trailhead where they were reunited with their parents just after noon.