Man rescued near Byers Peak
September 27, 2016
Grand County Search and Rescue (GCSAR) was paged out for a lost and missing 65-year-old hiker, Robert Thompson from Kansas City, Mo. late afternoon Thursday Sept 22.
Thompson was planning on a day hike, completing the Bills to Byers Loop and had left the Lake Evelyn trailhead at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday morning.
In the late afternoon he got off track and went south, into the wilderness. For the next 24 hours he "bushwhacked" around the area, ending up finding his way back to a Byers Peak trail. Becoming lost and having no water purification, fire starting equipment, Map or addition emergency gear, he decided to hunker down for the night. He slept for about three hours and woke up with early signs of hypothermia setting in. He decided to hike around via headlamp to warm up. He spent the night bushwhacking between established trails.
A phone call to his brother in Fraser and a missing car at the Lake Evelyn trailhead led to the 911 call.
GCSAR also briefly had cell communication.
Incident Command was established at Byers Peak trailhead at 6:30 p.m., Thursday. Two separate GCSAR teams, accompanied by Grand County EMS (GCEMS) and the Mountain Medical Response Team (MMRT) medics were inserted into the field shortly thereafter.
At 7:45 p.m. Team 2 made contact with Thompson. GCSAR and MMRT determined that Thompson was able to walk out on his own power and he was at Incident Command at the trailhead by 8:25 p.m.
Due to the actions taken by GCSAR and GCEMS, Robert Thompson's life was saved.
Always remember there is no charge to call GCSAR in Colorado. Always have a map and emergency gear with you. Plan as much as you can for the unexpected.