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November 2, 2021

Over the past weekend, SAR volunteers were again on a mission on Three Fingers Mountain to rescue a hiker in trouble who was caught by the foul weather. Simultaneously, other SAR volunteers were on a mission to reach a hiker trapped by rising water near the Monte Cristo ghost town.

These two missions are typical during the autumn when the weather changes for the worse. We see a lot of hikers, hunters, mushroom pickers, etc., who overestimate their ability when hiking and carry inadequate equipment to keep themselves warm and dry. And they underestimate the severity of the weather’s effect upon themselves and their surroundings.

No matter how strong or fit you are, once hypothermia starts you quickly become incapable of staying warm and helping yourself. Hypothermia is not prevented by being strong, fit, or “tough”, but by staying dry, warm, and “fueled” with plenty of food and fluids.

We at SCVSAR urge the public to, please, be more cautious and conservative with your backcountry trips no matter the weather forecast. At this time of year, the weather can change rapidly and even a forecast of mildly bad weather can turn into severe weather in higher elevations. And always remember to leave a detailed trip plan with someone of where, when, how, and who. The plan will help volunteers should you need help.