Since June 25, crews in San Miguel County responded to a slew of mountain missions, including a distressed kayaker, an injured hiker, snow-blocked roads and a trapped bear.
Ophir Pass and Last Dollar Pass are both open for four-wheel drive vehicles, according to San Miguel County. Imogene and Black Bear Passes remain closed due to snow.
On June 29, a 31-year old man visiting from Nebraska was injured after falling near the waterfall at the top of the Bear Creek trail in Telluride, according to the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office. About 10 people participated in the search and rescue mission after the man said he needed assistance. Rescuers from San Miguel Search and Rescue and Telluride Fire Protection brought him down the trail for transport by ambulance to Telluride Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
On June 26, a 63-year-old Ridgway woman was rescued by San Miguel Search and Rescue in the early evening after she capsized her inflatable kayak while boating in the San Miguel River outside Placerville. She claimed no injury.
The woman initially clung to her boat and another boater but lost her grip and was swept down river in the rapidly moving water. She managed to grab onto bushes along the shore and pull herself to safety. She was wearing a helmet and personal flotation device. Her group searched for an hour and flagged down a passing sheriff’s deputy, who dispatched rescue crews from Norwood Fire and EMS and the Norwood Marshal’s office. Thirty people participated in the search.
According to the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, she flipped her kayak about 4 p.m. near mile marker 90.5 of Colorado Highway 145. Search and rescue crews reached her about 7 p.m. walking along the road.
On June 25, San Miguel Sheriff Deputies and the Telluride marshal freed a bear trapped in vehicle in Telluride, an act shown on video. Deputies rigged a rope to open the door and freed the bruin. Officials remind travelers to lock car doors and carefully store food because bears can break in if they smell something interesting.
“A trapped bear is an angry bear who can pose danger to people in the vicinity,” a San Miguel Sheriff’s Office official stated.