Two backcountry skiers who spent the night outdoors after being caught in Thursday’s storm near Coal Bank Pass were rescued Friday and returned to safety.
Ron Corkish with La Plata County Search and Rescue said the skiers, a man and a woman, where skiing Thursday when they became disoriented. They were unprepared to spend the night in the backcountry, he said.
“They hunkered down for the night, which is the absolute best thing you could do,” Corkish said.
Corkish said the couple were able to build a “raging fire” to keep warm during the night.
The pair were able to communicate with search and rescue personnel through the use of a cellphone. Corkish said crews made contact around 2:15 p.m.
Rescue teams gave the couple food and hot liquids. Crews then guided the skiers back to their car, which was about 1.6 miles away.
Corkish said the two skiers were uninjured and did not need medical attention.
He said the two were in an area known to backcountry skiers as Deer Creek. He said the rescue mission was led by San Juan County Search and Rescue.