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Lost skier rescued at Boggy Draw north of Dolores

Snow biking trails are groomed in the Boggy Draw area and open to skiers. (Courtesy Southwest Colorado Cycling Association)
No injuries reported; Montezuma County Search and Rescue responded

A cross-country skier who got lost in the Boggy Draw area north of Dolores was rescued Saturday night by a Montezuma County Search and Rescue team.

The adult male, who was not identified, had gotten lost around Italian Reservoir 4 to 5 miles from the trailhead, said Incident Commander Vicki Shaffer. No injuries were reported.

The local man was cross-country skiing solo on a groomed trail maintained by the Southwest Colorado Cycling Association for winter recreation. The cycling group also participated in the rescue effort.

“He had taken a trail unfamiliar to him, and it got dark on him,” Shaffer said. “He was unsure how to return to the parking lot and did not want to get into further trouble.”

The skier was able to called dispatch on his cell phone about 7 p.m., and a rescue was launched.

Three snowmobiles set out on the search, including one from SWCCA. Seven people participated in the rescue effort.

The stranded skier knew the general area but was unsure of his location. He yelled out and used his phone flashlight to alert the snowmobiles when they came near. Rescue crews transported him by snowmobile back to his truck at the Boggy Draw parking lot around 10 p.m.

MCS & commended the skier for things he did right. He carried extra water and was dressed warmly. He also called for help as soon as he realized he was in trouble, stayed put and did not panic.

When rescuers found him “he was a very happy man,” said Shaffer, who stayed in contact with him on the phone during the incident.

She said MCS & gets two to three calls per winter for people who get lost in the Boggy Draw area. This incident was the first one of the season.

Volunteers with SWCCA regularly groom about 10 miles of trail for snow biking in the Boggy Draw area. It is also available for cross-country skiing. For grooming updates and information, visit their Facebook page.