Rescuers Attempting to Extract Injured Hiker Who Spent a Night in the Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado

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hiker, rescue, Weminuche Wilderness, colorado
hiking in the Weminuche Wilderness. Credit: Waco Tribune-Herald

Rescue workers are attempting to rescue a 47-year-old man who was injured on Monday while hiking in the Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado. He apparently slipped and fell into a creek, and possibly suffered a dislocated shoulder, said Ron Corkish, with La Plata County Search and Rescue, reports the Durango Herald.

The man fell into the creek Monday night and had to spend the night in the wilderness. Rescuers began their efforts about 7:41 pm Monday, and the rescue remained in progress as of 9:30 am Tuesday. The man hiked about 10 miles into the wilderness in the Roelle Creek drainage near the north end of Vallecito Creek.

“They’ve got fresh rain, there’s mud, it’s slick and it’s pitch-dark, so you just have to take your time so you don’t injure a rescuer,” Corkish said.

San Juan County Search and Rescue are assisting in the rescue.

hiker, rescue, Weminuche Wilderness, colorado
Rescuers are unsure whether to fly him out or not. Credit: Durango Herald

The initial call came from the hiker’s SPOT device, which uses satellite and GPS to send emergency notifications to a dispatch center, Corkish said.

Flight for Life was not immediately available Monday, because it was on another mission, Corkish said, so it was not clear Tuesday morning if the hiker would be extracted by helicopter or on foot.

The Weminuche Wilderness is a wilderness area in southwest Colorado managed by the United States Forest Service as part of the San Juan National Forest on the west side of the Continental Divide and the Rio Grande National Forest on the east side of the divide. It is about 5 miles south-east of the town of Silverton and about 15 miles northeast of Durango. At 488,210 acres (1,975.7 km2), it is the largest wilderness area in the state of Colorado. The wilderness was named after the Weminuche Indians.

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