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Meet the search and rescue workforce up in Summit County, CO

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Meet the search and rescue workforce up in Summit County, CO

Written by Xavier— Posted in July 9, 2023

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Featured Picture: Sage Miller Images

When issues go awry within the backcountry of Summit County, the Summit County Rescue Group (SCRG) will get the decision. They ship out on rescue missions every single day of the 12 months with a workforce of devoted volunteers. Most of us skiers are conversant in their mission, however unsurprisingly, summers stay the busiest time of 12 months for the group. We sat down with SCRG Public Info Officer Anna DeBattiste to get a greater take a look at the onerous work of the nonprofit. 

When the season modifications and also you go from rescuing backcountry skiers to hikers and mountain bikers, what’s that shift like for the workforce?

Mud seasons are at all times difficult, particularly within the spring, due to the gradual transition from snow journey to different technique of journey. We don’t at all times know what we’re going to search out on the larger elevations, and subsequently we don’t know with 100% certainty when to go out on foot, ATV or UTV vs. skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles. Generally we make one selection after which must transition to one thing else in the course of the response. Generally the snowpack is so difficult that almost any selection we make is lower than very best.

PHOTO: Courtesy SCRG

As an all-volunteer group, SCRG depends on devoted people to hold out its rescue operations. Inform us in regards to the nice those who volunteer for this group.

There are as many causes for volunteering as there are members. Some do it for a way of function. Others for the camaraderie of belonging to a workforce. It will possibly present nice train or be a spot to benefit from alternatives to develop backcountry expertise or make buddies within the county. There are additionally volunteers on the lookout for a way of journey or the rewards of giving again to the group. 

Our 71 members come from a variety {of professional} backgrounds and expertise ranges, they usually vary from their early 20s to their late 70s.  The one factor we now have in frequent is a love of the backcountry and a need to be out in it. 

What sort of rescue missions have you ever seen this summer time?

Summer season has barely begun for us. There’s nonetheless snow at excessive elevations. Usually, nevertheless, we see loads of requires injured hikers in July, August and September. 

This previous spring, we had an uncommon run of requires post-holing hikers, together with some that had misplaced their footwear. We at all times have just a few calls within the spring for caught hikers who’re post-holing, however this was extreme on account of quickly warming temperatures after a winter of heavy snowfall.

Since you will have a mutual assist settlement, you’re in a position to help exterior of Summit County. How do you collaborate with different search and rescue organizations that border yours?

The Colorado Search and Rescue Affiliation coordinates mutual assist requests between groups, and our help will be requested from any workforce within the state, not simply our neighboring groups. We usually reply to anyplace from 3 to 10 mutual assist requests per 12 months. We regularly work with Vail Mountain Rescue for calls on Vail Move. We additionally collaborate with the Alpine Rescue Staff for calls on Loveland Move or on the Summit County aspect of Grays and Torreys. 

 If you happen to might provide a chunk of recommendation to summer time out of doors lovers, what would it not be?

Our recommendation is to recollect the three T’s:

  • Take the ten necessities (see graphic beneath)
  • Journey plan – go away particulars of your plan with a dependable particular person again dwelling, together with your supposed route, the place you’ll be parking and the way lengthy you count on to be out.
  • Coaching – be sure to have the bodily conditioning and expertise coaching for the journey you’re planning.
PHOTO: Courtesy SCRG

SCRG, together with most different backcountry search and rescue groups in Colorado, is an all-volunteer non-profit workforce and should fundraise for operations on prime of volunteering its time for rescues. SCRG doesn’t cost for its providers (no groups in Colorado do).  They admire the assist of the group. Be taught extra in regards to the workforce and find out how to donate at






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