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YTD: 2022 callout summaries, lessons 


  • Date: Jan. 3 Time: 6 p.m.

  • Location: Spring Creek Road, NW Ouray County

  • Incident: Two women snowshoers missed a final turn to their parked car and became lost and called 911.

  • Response: Using supplied coordinates, a four-rescuer team rode their tracked machine to quickly locate the women, who enjoyed a four-minute ride to the trailhead.

  • Lesson: Preserve the battery life of your mobile phone, to report distress and provide GPS data.


  • Date: Jan. 29. Time: 11:36 a.m.

  • Location: South Park, Ouray Ice Park

  • Incident: A female climber was tying into a rope when a large piece of ice fell, striking her in the back and shoulder.

  • Response: A 14-person field team raised the injured climber up a cliff and transported her to an ambulance. She refused transport.

  • Lesson: Gravity works; wear a helmet and be aware of the environment.


  • Date: Feb. 12. Time: 10:48 a.m.

  • Location: Tower Road picnic shelter, Log Hill Mesa escarpment

  • Incident: A 32-year-old male fell about 35 feet off the escarpment, suffering head, rib and abdominal injuries.

  • Response: OMRT worked with county EMS personnel to access patient, who was packaged then raised in a litter. Injured man was taken by ambulance and CareFlight to a local hospital.

  • Lesson: The numerous jaw-dropping viewpoints in Ouray County often have steep and dangerous precipices below them.


  • Date: Feb. 26. Time: 12:42 p.m.

  • Location: Ouray Ice Park, Five Fingers section

  • Incident: Adult female climber is hit by microwave-sized chunk of ice, which fell 40 feet and split her helmet.

  • Response: OMRT’s Tim Pasek and Kevin Koprek utilized a horizontal litter to extricate the patient and transferred her to an ambulance at Box Cañon.

  • Lesson: Falling ice is a constant concern during winter climbing.


  • Date: May 19. Time: 4:08 p.m.

  • Location: Mt. Sneffels

  • Incident: A pair of climbers split up on the Lavender Col. One continued up the peak, the second returned to a vehicle. After several hours, he caught a ride down to report his missing partner, and OMRT was called.

  • Response: Nine rescuers deployed, just as a sheriff’s deputy on scene reported the overdue hiker had arrived back to his car.

  • Lesson: A Sneffels climb is best executed in the morning, when diminishing sunlight is not a pending safety factor. Hiking solo on unforgiving terrain not recommended.


  • Date: May 22. Time: 5:11 p.m.

  • Location: Ouray Via Ferrata, upstream route exit

  • Incident: A female adventurer completed the route but was unable to climb out at the final exit. She made multiple attempts and suffered several small falls.

  • Response: Rescuers employed a simple two-rope belay, and the woman completed the climb.

  • Lesson: Be aware of your capabilities and limitations. An expert guide is not a bad idea, either.


  • Date: June 3. Time: 11:16 a.m.

  • Location: Gold Mountain Via Ferrata, Jackass Flats exit

  • Incident: A guided client lost her footing on a rung and fell three feet, breaking her ankle on an angled rock. Guides were able to assist the patient to a trail at the exit.

  • Response: Two team members responded with a wheeled litter to get the patient off the mountain.

  • Lesson: In steep places, ankles are going to roll. Sear sturdy footwear.


  • Date: June 9. Time: 5:14 p.m.

  • Location: Box Cañon Park.

  • Incident: Remember Incident 7 above? Same story, an injured ankle on steep terrain by the falls.

  • Response: Team responds to a request by OCEMS and a straight-forward litter evacuation is performed.

  • Lesson: The ankle thing.


  • Date: June 12. Time: 12:03 p.m.

  • Location: Bear Creek Trail, near Grizzly Mine

  • Incident: Hiker was returning to 550 trailhead when he slipped on gravel, injured his knee and was unable to walk.

  • Response: Team of nine ascended to the fallen hiker, loaded him in a wheeled litter and rolled him to the highway.

  • Lesson: Same as callouts 7 and 8, only with a knee.

  • Patient feedback: " I want to express my gratitude for the wonderful job your group did carryng me down Bear Creek Trail. You all are in a class of your own. Extremely skilled and competent. There are not enough words in the dictionary to express how lucky I was and how grateful I am for being rescued by such a wonderful group. I will forever be grateful for rescuing me!!!




An all-volunteer organization dedicated to saving lives by performing back-country searches and rescues, and fostering safe outdoor practices through education.

~ Est. 1974 ~




Rescuers greet helicopter while aiding a teen hiker on Mt. Sneffels

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Team hauls injured hiker down Sneffels trail

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R-12 truck serves as anchor for rope system to access canyon bottom on Engineer Pass

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Thanks supporters! Your votes won team 1st place and $10,000


A helicopter arrives above the east flank of Mount Sneffels on the morning of July 31, 2021 to ferry a climber who survived an overnight ordeal after a life-threatening fall.

  The results are in! Nearly 5,000 voters weighed in on the 2021 rescue they found most inspiring, and Ouray Mountain Rescue Team came out on top! All four finalists will receive a cut of the $25,000 Search & Rescue Award funding from the Denver equipment company Rockie Talkie, but this Colorado-based volunteer rescue team will take home this year's top prize.

  Congratulations to Ouray Mountain Rescue and to our other finalists: Tahoe Nordic Search & RescueLarimer County Search & Rescue, and LVMPD Search & Rescue.

   Each of these teams do incredible work for their communities, and we can't thank them enough for sharing their stories and being there for adventurers in need.

Book chronicles
team's history

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  47-year history. Proceeds from book sales will go to support the ongoing operations of OMRT



  • 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.

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Shop & support!

Supporters can benefit the Rescue Team as they shop, both at the big box grocer and online! OMRT has long been a non-profit eligible to earn micro donations through the AmazonSmiles program. And the team is now gaining additional funding through City Market's community support program. Here are links to the programs.

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Training participants pause at the Crystal Lake landing zone before enjoying rides to a high-altitude LZ at Lost Day Mine.

Ouray Mountain Rescue Team, Inc. © 2022 - a Section 501(c)3 non-profit organization – Tax ID 75-2158092

P.O. Box 220 Ouray, CO 81427-0220