Hikers had no gear on cold Colorado trail because it’s ‘so hot in Texas,’ officials say

Alamosa Volunteer Search And Rescue
·2 min read

Hikers left the Texas heat to a camp on a cold, rainy Colorado trail, officials said.

The duo hiked up Lake Como Road and into Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo range on Monday, June 27, the Alamosa Volunteer Search And Rescue team said.

They never made it to Lake Como and set up camp about a quarter-mile from the lake.

Lake Como is an 8.3-mile out-and-back trail near Blanca, about 210 miles south of Denver. It’s considered a challenging route, according to AllTrails.

After some time, they started experiencing hypothermia. They called for help and said they were cold. One of the hikers started throwing up and was severely dehydrated with a headache.

Rescuers brought the hikers hot water bottles and sugary drinks to help them warm up and rehydrate. They were brought down the road and checked by medical professionals.

Nearly six hours after the call for help, the rescue was complete. Officials said it was a difficult operation because of the rain making the road rocky.

“Lake Como Rd was exceptionally dangerous this trip due to heavy rain, high chance for rockfall and extremely slippery rock,” officials said in a news release. “On the descent down, there was a river running down the entire road.”

The hikers weren’t prepared for their trek. They didn’t pack extra clothing to stay dry, and their tent had no rain fly, officials said. The hikers also didn’t have extra food or water, and they didn’t have layers to survive the night temperatures.

“These hikers said they did not understand why it was so cold and rainy in Colorado, because it has been ‘so hot in Texas’ where they hike all the time,” rescuers said. “They never checked any weather forecasts.”

Rescuers said the incident is an example of how “ignorance can kill people.” People should always check weather and avalanche forecasts before hiking into the wilderness, officials said.

The American Hiking Society recommends hikers carry the following items on their trip:

  • Appropriate footwear for the trek

  • A map, compass or GPS that are reliable in backcountry

  • Water and a way to purify it

  • An extra portion of food in case you’re out longer than expected

  • Rain gear and layers

  • Safety items including something to start a fire, a light and a whistle

  • First aid kit

  • A knife or multi-tool

  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and clothing that can protect you from the sun

  • Shelter that can protect you from the elements

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