Successful Multi-Agency SAR Mission
At approximately 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 7th, Rosa Stockton, a 40-year-old female from Durango, became separated from her hiking partner/husband on Grizzly Peak.
The San Juan County / Dolores County border cuts the peak in half.
Twenty-two and one-half hours later, she was located by a group of female hikers staying at the High Camp Hut north of Rico in Dolores County.
She was cold, tired and a bit lost. Rosa had summitted Grizzly and made her way down from the peak to the west after becoming separated.
She spent a very cold night huddling under pine boughs. The all-female hiking group sent three of their members (Carla Toth, Lynn Joselin and Lilly Bisantz) ahead to find cell reception and to contact the SAR teams while the others (Brigitte Wilson, Annie Williams, Dawn Sikich and Mary Hagan) provided warm clothes, food and water to Rosa and then started walking out together.
Rico Fire member Mike O’Connor located the party south of the Hut and Dolores County SAR Captain Keith Keesling and SAR team member Athena Harrison met up with them shortly after.
The search and rescue mission was initiated at 3:30 p.m. by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office. San Juan County Search and Rescue, Silverton EMS, the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management, La Plata County Search and Rescue, Dolores County Search and Rescue, Rico Fire and the Dolores County Office of Emergency Management were involved in the successful search and rescue mission.
Flight for Life provided helicopter service search support both Saturday and Sunday. The Colorado Department of Public Safety Multi Mission Aircraft team flew two missions as well.
A special thanks to Cindy of High Camp Hut, the all-female High Country Hikers and all of the SAR teams and other agencies for a very successful mission.
Photos credit: Keith Keesling, Dolores County SAR Captain