10th Special Forces Group team recovers mountaineering accident victim

Picture source : YouTube Mt. Blanca Summit: Colorado 14ers | Sage Canaday and Sandi Nypaver

According to the Alamosa Volunteer Search And Rescue Facebook page a man in his 20’s fell from a ridge near Crater Lake in the Mt. Blanca area this past Friday July 28, 2017.

The all volunteer search and rescue team was first contacted by the Sheriff’s office in the area having themselves received reports from witnesses stating that they heard a rock slide and then saw him lying motionless at the bottom of the ridge. They also reported that
they had just met him on the trail moments before and that he was hiking alone.

With limited communications due to the location of the event Flight For Life air lifted 2 two person hasty teams into the area while ground techs followed in 4x4s. Upon reaching the subject, hasty teams confirmed that the subject was deceased and had died upon impact. Due to the distance from the accident scene and the road where the 4×4 Specialists were waiting, the carryout would require more SAR personnel.

As AVSAR put an all hands on deck call for additional search and rescue personnel a 10th Special Forces Group team operating in the area answered the call.

A team from the Special Operations Advanced Mountaineering School 10th Special Forces Group, were training in the Mt. Blanca area and were concerned the fallen hiker may have been one of their own. They made contact with the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office who put them in touch with AVSAR. After confirming the subject was not one of their men they Immediately volunteered assist. The 10th Special Forces Group went into action to assist AVSAR in bringing the subject up from the bottom and carefully brought back down the mountain road. Incident Command stood down the CSRB teams en route which included Chaffee County SAR, El Paso County SAR, Western Mountain SAR and an offer of assist from the Alamosa Fire Department.

AVSAR would like to make a special acknowledgment to the 10th Special Forces Group. The Special Operations Advanced Mountaineering School, based out of Ft. Carson, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, are trained by the military to respond to mountain rescues all over the world. Such as when a pilot goes down in rugged terrain that can only be reached by a trained high angle mountaineering team in countries like Afghanistan. Without their assistance many loved ones would never make it home and families would never receive the closure they need. Because of this great group, both the subject and the SAR team did not have to spend the night on the mountain.

There are on going efforts by the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office, AVSAR and the Alamosa County Coroner to identfy the young male subject. As of this posting SAR personnel are searching for his vehicle in the Como Road and Mt. Blanca area.