On Wednesday, Summit County Rescue Group received a report of two hikers waving and yelling from the north ridge of 14,266-ft Quandary Peak, CO the group reported in a Facebook post. Fearing the worst, three rescue teams of six rescuers were dispatched along the trail armed with rope gear, believing the two men were stuck, unable to climb up or down.
As the rescuers approached the summit, they talked with other hikers descending the trail and learned the hikers in need weren’t in need at all — they were just super friendly Canadians.
“We eventually figured out that the ‘distressed’ party was just a couple of friendly Canadians saying hello to the hikers on the trail!” the post said.
The duo told rescuers they believed the international sign for distress is two arms raised to the sky making a “Y,” not just a wave.
“The learning point, if there is one, is that…well, hey, we love friendly Canadians, or any other friendly hikers, just as much as the next guy. But it might be a good idea to make sure that your wave doesn’t look like a distress signal,” Summit County Rescue Group said in a Facebook post.
Either way, the hikers expressed their appreciation to the rescuers.
“It was a good outcome, and in fact, when we talked to them, they made a donation to the [rescue] team,” Koegel said. “It was not a total waste of time.”