TELLURIDE,Colo. Two people were rescued after spending the night in single-digit temperatures after they left the Telluride Ski area and became lost during a back country ski excursion in Bear Creek.
The two skiers left the ski area at the top of Lift 9 through a legal gate Thursday to ski "Reggae", a popular colour in Bear Creek. One skier was a 27 year old male, who was reportedly new to Telluride, and 39 year old snowboarder. Both of the skiers told Ski Patrollers they have skied the area before and had the right equipment, but at some point became disoriented and went too far left.
The skier contacted one of his friends for a self rescue, and provided his friend with coordinates of their location. The friend became concerned and contacted the San Miguel Sheriff's Office to locate the skier and snowboarder.
San Miguel Deputy Todd Rector plotted the parties coordinates, with one location above a cliff, known as the "Suicide Chutes" area of Bear Creek. The second location was towards the ski area.
Due to the snow conditions and other safety concerns, Deputy Rector did not send a Search and Rescue personnel. Instead Deputy Rector was hopeful that the skier and snowboarder would find their way back to the ski area.
Deputy Rector communicated with Telluride ski area groomers Wednesday to look for signs of the two, but nothing was found overnight.
On Thursday morning, Telluride Ski Patrol found the skier and snowboarder. The two of them were found uninjured, and were brought to Telluride Ski Patrol Headquarters for further assessment. The two of them were cold and little dehydrated, but after warming up and receiving food, the Ski Patrol released them.
Sheriff Bill Masters commended the efforts of Telluride Ski Patrol to rescue their costumers who chose to leave the ski area.