‘Tis the season and CCSAR was called to assist in a search for a lost mushroom hunter on Greenhorn Mountain in the Wet Mountain Range.
The call came into the Custer County Sheriff’s Office late Saturday, August 25. Search and Rescue members were called Saturday night and instructed to respond to the barn for deployment at 4 AM the next day. By dawn Sunday, CCSAR had fielded 12 searchers to join Huerfano County Sheriff Office and Forest Service personnel in the second operational period of an ongoing search for the missing person.
The CCSAR team established a field base in the search area backed up by three SAR team members at Search Base in Westcliffe to coordinate the mission. The initial missing person report identified the subject as a 60 year old woman in good health who had hunted mushrooms and elk in the same area and was therefore familiar with the terrain. The official measure of mission urgency was increased when it was determined that the subject was actually 68 years old, wearing cotton clothing and had already spent Saturday night in the woods lost and alone.
The search continued through Sunday morning with a search assist from Flight for Life based in Pueblo. The subject was located at approximately 2 PM Sunday afternoon in good condition aside from the obvious: tired, hungry and dehydrated.
SAR team members returned to the barn for mission debriefing and a meal, having been in the field at mission’s end since daybreak. Information was forwarded to the local papers with a caution to all to be well equipped and prepared when entering the mountains for what may be intended to only be a short time hunting mushrooms or whatever. The same caution is always appropriate when recreating in the mountains. Unfortunately, the caution is all-too-often not heeded.