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SOLO HIKER AVOIDS HYPOTHERMIA BY PRESSING SOS BUTTON ON SPOT DEVICE

Rescue Profile: Connor Gallagher
Case #: 18485


Snow


Connor Gallager, from Columbus, Ohio, was excited about his first solo hike in Colorado on the Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop. He chose the 26.6 mile hike as his first solo hike but was sure to have all of the gear he need including a SPOT Gen3.

The first day of Connor’s hike proved to be a bit colder than he expected and he encountered some bear droppings along the way which he was not very excited about. He had hiked approximately 11 miles before setting up his tent for the night at 11,000’.


Snow
On day two, he woke up to some unexpected snow and got a late start. He made it down the valley relatively quickly and came upon the river. He hopped across the river on a set of slippery rocks and lost his footing, thrusting his foot into the icy water. The holes in his boots allowed the cold water to completely soak his sock.

After two hard miles, and a lack of oxygen, Conner’s wet sock was now freezing so he pitched his tent and got into his sleeping bag as fast as he could. It was 15 degrees and dropping and Connor’s toes were slightly discolored and he could not get warm.
Snow
He pushed the assist button on his SPOT Gen3. Four hours later, freezing and desperate for warmth, Connor pushed the SOS button on his device.

A few hours later, Connor heard rumbling outside of his tent and then flashlights. “Connor”, yelled the West Elk Mountain Rescue team. They gave him jerky, a vest, a pair of gloves and new socks, the men helped him pack up his tent and headed back down the mountain to safety and warmth.
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