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CSFD rescues person stuck on Manitou Incline during blizzard

MANITOU SPRINGS – A local man was reportedly stuck on the incline in Manitou Springs Wednesday in the midst of the blizzard and it will cost you, the taxpayers, money to pay for the cost of the rescue.

News 5’s Sam Kraemer was on the scene live-tweeting the rescue. He just tweeted the hiker has been rescued as of 4:35 p.m.

The 69-year-old man rescued was not an experienced hiker and he was not wearing the proper clothing or have the proper equipment.

“We wouldn’t recommend hiking in weather like this, unless you’re prepared and experienced in it. Make sure you have the proper equipment,” CSFD Lt. David Watts said.

It took firefighters about an hour to hike up Barr Trail and about an hour and a half to come back down with the man. He was not injured and is in stable condition.

Colorado Springs Fire Department sent two high angle rescue teams because El Paso County Search and Rescue is in Falcon. AMR was also on the scene.

“We were afraid of hypothermia, which in this type of weather is what we have to be careful of. So, we had to make sure that he was warm right away, and that was the main concern,” Watts said.

CSFD’s plan was to hike up Barr Trail, put the stranded person in a basket with a wheel underneath, and use ropes to bring them down. They also encountered their own obstacles.

“There was some ice. There were some slippery spots. There were a number of trees that were being knocked over by the weight of the spring snow and the wind,” Watts said.

A Manitou paramedic and volunteer firefighter made it to the man first and stabilized him.

But the next time a major storm hits, first responders would like people to heed to the warnings.

“Sometimes, it might be best just to stay home,” Watts said.

Sam talked with some people that just finished hiking the Incline. He asked them why they decided to hike during a blizzard to which they replied, “It’s not crowded, it’s beautiful and it’s really not that bad.” The hikers were apparently experienced and had microspikes for the snow.

If you ever plan to go hiking, especially in blizzard conditions, tell someone where you are going. The man who was stranded on the Incline did not, which caused his family to call emergency crews for a lost hiker.

Ashlynn Worley

Ashlynn Worley

Ashlynn is a Digital Content Producer for KOAA News5.
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