DENVER — Two 19-year-old hikers were rescued Monday after calling for help while trying to hike Colorado’s second tallest peak.
Lake County Search and Rescue was notified on Nov. 28 at approximately 8 p.m. that two hikers were in distress on Mt. Massive. Immediately after calling for help, the phone died before more information could be provided to rescuers.
Through the night, LCSAR and the Colorado Search and Rescue Association tried to narrow down the hikers’ location, though their efforts were only partially successful due to the phone being dead.
At dawn the next morning, a full scale search was launched to search large areas of Mt. Massive.
By 11 p.m., rescuers found the hikers in the Half Moon Lakes Basin. They were cold, hungry and thirsty, but otherwise in good condition after spending 34 hours in the backcountry without shelter.
Anna DeBattiste, the public information officer for CSAR, said the hikers did a lot of things right, like hunkering down overnight to avoid injury and trying to self-rescue and flag down the aerial search team.
DeBattiste does recommend hikers bring more gear with them when completing a major hike like a 14er. It’s important to bring layers, something to start a fire with and more food.
She also recommends hikers call 911 sooner if they need help and not right before a cell phone battery is about to die. Batteries can also be preserved for longer by turning on airplane mode, shutting down apps that drain a phone’s battery and keeping the phone warm.