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July 4, 2022

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Teams Work Through the Night to Rescue Stuck Hiker on Mt. Toll

Teams Work Through the Night to Rescue Stuck Hiker on Mt. Toll

Boulder County, Colo. -

On Sunday July 3, 2022 at approximately 12:50 PM, Boulder County Communications was notified of a stuck hiker on the west side of Mount Toll, in Grand County, in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Grand County Search and Rescue requested assistance from Boulder County to access the stuck male who had fallen approximately 15 feet down a gully into technical terrain and was unable to get himself out.

The 33-year-old male was attempting to hike a loop starting from Brainard Lake and traversing from Mount Audubon over to Pawnee Pass and back down to Brainard Lake. While attempting to traverse across Mount Toll, he lost his grip on the rock and fell approximately 15 feet into a gully of slick, nearly vertical rock that he was unable to get out from. The hiker was lucky, sustaining only minor injuries during fall. As a result of needing technical equipment to get back out from his location, he called 911 for assistance. Due to thunderstorms over the continental divide Grand County Search and Rescue was unable to insert rescuers by helicopter. Given the inability to fly, it was more efficient to conduct the rescue from Boulder County.

A team from Rocky Mountain Rescue Group hiked in from Brainard Lake and were able to make verbal contact with the stuck hiker before sunset. Rescuers fixed ropes and descended through steep rocky terrain to locate the hiker. Rescuers built anchors and fixed ropes as they descended, ultimately descending approximately 600 feet from the ridgeline before locating the hiker. The hiker was secured with a harness and tied into the rope system. He was able to climb up to the ridge with the assistance of rescuers belaying him. Rescuers and the hiker reached the continental divide at approximately 03:15 AM on July 4, 2022. The hiker was evaluated for injuries and was able to hike out to the trailhead.

Agencies assisting with this rescue effort included: Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Flight for Life Colorado, and Medevac. The rescue took approximately 18 hours.

The associated Boulder County Sheriff's Office case number is: #22-03123.

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/s/ Ryan Singer, Emergency Service Coordinator

Photos Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Rescue Group