SAFETY PRECAUTIONS PROMPT REQUEST TO REFRAIN
FROM OUTDOOR ACTIVITY IN OURAY COUNTY
The Ouray County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with Ouray County Unified Command, requests that people do not take part in high-risk outdoor activities until further notice. Such activities may include backpacking, climbing, backcountry skiing, and other backcountry activities that put you at an elevated risk for rescue.
Outdoor recreationists may get sick, lost, or injured and require assistance. The responding rescue team of local volunteers could be forced to break social distancing and State-mandated isolation by sharing rescue equipment, radios, and vehicles. By having to respond to these type of incidents, outdoor enthusiasts could be taking those rescuers out of service for weeks due to post-mission quarantine protocols. Preventable backcountry injury also strains the response time for other critical accidents, as well as stress to the ambulance and emergency room services.
Low-risk outdoor activities are still strongly encouraged, provided those participating adhere to prescribed social distancing, personal hygiene protocols, and formulate a reliable plan for self- rescue in the event a mishap does occur.
Ouray County is experiencing typical mountain spring weather, which often brings heavy, wet snow storms, increasing the avalanche danger in the backcountry considerably.
Please do your part in preventing backcountry accidents and protecting our vital group of volunteers.
An all-volunteer organization dedicated to saving lives by performing back-country searches and rescues, and fostering safe outdoor practices through education.
~ Est. 1974 ~
Recent rescue incidents
The first callout of 2020 involved two tragic words the team hates to hear — body recovery. A Seattle woman died on Jan. 18 when a column of ice broke off above her and triggered a small avalanche that swept and buried her at the bottom of the Red Mountain Creek canyon. She had been participating in a women's ice climbing seminar, but was not climbing when the accident occurred. OMRT was called out at 11 a.m., and about 90 minutes later located the body with probes under about five feet of avalanche debris. At the site, off Highway 550 across from the Mother Cline Slide, rescuers were met by unstable conditions caused by the running creek. Above, rescuers ascend to the highway to deliver the body to the coroner. Summaries of 2019 rescues are here.
With the 2018 publication of "No Individual Heroes: Ouray Mountain Rescue Team," team alum Karen Mollica Risch culminated years of research and interviews to tell the plethora of incidents in the team's 44-year history. Proceeds from book sales will go to support the ongoing operations of OMRT
HOW TO SUPPORT THE OURAY TEAM
Consider setting up monthly, quarterly or annual donations, online.
Buy an OMRT t-shirt or baseball cap directly, or at local retail locations.
Make the rescue team’s new endowment a beneficiary in your will.
Purchase a Rescue Barn Brick.
Buy a Colorado search & rescue card at Ouray Mountain Sports or OMRT and CORSAR websites.
Be prepared and safe when you venture in the alpine backcountry.