“We often find that hikers from outside the Rocky Mountain area are surprised at how quickly the weather conditions can change. In this case, the weather was overcast and chilly in the morning, with occasional showers, but the significant deterioration to the snow storm was unpredicted. As a rescue team, we can’t overstate the necessity of being prepared for such conditions during summer hikes.” -Summit County Rescue Group Spokesman Charles PitmanA couple from Texas got cliffed out in bad weather after turning back 800ft from the summit of Quandary Peak which lead to a 13-hour rescue operation. VAIL DAILY reports a woman 26 and man 31 from the Lone Star State mistakenly took the more technical West Ridge rather than the East Ridge which the had intended to hike. The decided not to summit after it started snowing and got off trail and stuck above a cliff band and needed professional assistance to exfiltrate. A technical response team that hiked up the West Ridge to find the pair, was unable to do so and with daylight dwindling and more weather coming, called a Flight For Life helicopter to get eyes on the Texans and direct them. The chopper found them at 4:47 p.m. The stranded hikers were eventually reached by rescuers but their position on the exposed ridgeline complicated by a snowstorm which included thunder, lightning and wind, along with the initial stages of hypothermia made for extremely slow going. All were off the mountain by 2:15 a.m. The entire operation took over 13 hours and involved 18 members from the Summit County Rescue Group.
all images from Summit County Rescue Group Facebook