2 lost horseback riders found by helicopter

Search and Rescue spotted riders from the air Sunday


— A 15-year-old girl and a 25-year-old woman were rescued Sunday afternoon near the Sarvis Creek Wilderness Area in South Routt County.

They left a property on Routt County Road 16 on a horseback ride early Saturday morning on Missouri Park Trail northeast toward the wilderness area, Search and Rescue Incident Commander Dawn Alperti said. She said they planned to be gone for only an hour or two to make it back for breakfast.

Search and Rescue spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said the 15-year-old girl is the babysitter of the 25-year-old's children. Their names were not released. Alperti said family members began searching for them at about 3 p.m. Saturday and paged Search and Rescue before 10 p.m.. She said because it was dark when they received the page, crews couldn't respond until Sunday morning.

Search and Rescue was on scene at 8:30 a.m., Alperti said. She said a two-person ATV team headed out on Teepee Creek Trail at 10 a.m. Another four-person team on horseback, that included two volunteers from a nearby ranch, left at about 12:30 p.m., she said.

"We couldn't find the trail on the map," Alperti said. "Luckily, there were a lot of ranch hands and ranch owners familiar with the area who helped us."

She said a helicopter from Zephyr Helicopter Service, which is operated by a retired member of Search and Rescue who frequently works with crews, joined the effort by 12:40 p.m. A Search and Rescue member from the helicopter spotted the 15-year-old girl and 25-year-old woman about 20 minutes later, Alperti said.

"Physically, they were completely exhausted and dehydrated, having left in the morning to return by breakfast," she said. "They basically had not had anything to eat for 40 hours, not since dinner the night before. "They were going to survive, but they could not have gone any further. They could not have ridden out."

Alperti said the two were given food and water and were checked out by medical personnel, who determined they were fine and didn't need to go to the hospital.


Antonie 7 years, 9 months ago

They are very fortunate that they were found quickly, and in good condition.


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