CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — A lost hiker was safely brought back down from Mount Princeton by Chaffee County Search & Rescue (CCSAR) Friday evening on Sept. 23.
Shortly before 8 p.m., Chaffee County SAR was paged out for a hiker who had become lost while descending Mount Princeton.
The hiker reported that he had gotten off route while descending from the saddle, and quickly became uncomfortable with the terrain, according to CCSAR. He also told a CCSAR Incident Commander that his headlamp was not providing enough light for him to safely move any further. The hiker was uninjured but dropping temperatures were becoming a cause for concern, said CCSAR.
CCSAR determined that the hiker was approximately 250 vertical feet above the standard trail where the terrain was steep and loose. GPS coordinates from his 911 call placed the hiker at an elevation of 12,600 feet. CCSAR instructed the hiker to stay at his current location and wait for a ground team to reach him.
Once a field team of seven members arrived at the Mount Princeton trailhead, the hiker was located by a field team member after approximately two hours. The hiker was assisted down steep terrain back to the trail where he was provided with a better headlamp and escorted to a warm SAR vehicle.
“We’d like to remind people that even the most straightforward fourteeners can become significantly more difficult in the dark, especially without a good light,” said CCSAR in a social media post. “Routefinding certainly becomes more difficult.”