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Over four years ago, I read “Touching the Void” and I was always intrigued by situation hikers find themselves in and the incredible things they do to stay alive.

This blog is about learning from other people’s mistakes, so you don’t make the same ones.

“Better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat”

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Snow and Hail Trap 15 Hikers in Rocky Mountain National Park


A storm that rolled quickly into Rocky Mountain National Park dumped hail, snow and sleet on unprepared hikers. 15 hikers were trapped in the Agnes Vaille Shelter (pictured below) on a 13,150-foot peak.

Some of the hikers were showing signs of hypothermia and others didn’t have the necessary gear to hike down the mountain with fresh snow and ice on the ground.

One of the hikers trapped in the hut was able to make a phone call to rangers. The hiker requested a helicopter, but because of the harsh weather, that was impossible.

Twenty two park workers, some who were working at a nearby shelter, brought rain gear, warm clothing and hot liquids to the hut. All of the hikers were led down around 6 p.m., with the last group making it to the trailhead around midnight.

A father, his 15-year old daughter and her friend were a little more lucky and listened to their gut instincts to stay out of the foul weather. The trio left for their hike around 4 a.m. to summit Longs Peak, a 14,259-foot peak. When they set off for their hike, the weather was clear and seemingly ideal.

At 13,900 feet, in a section called The Narrows, all three had a bad feeling as clouds rolled in. Instead of pushing for the summit, they turned around for camp. During their decent, rain and sleet started to come down from the skies. It had gotten so cold that their hands started to turn blue.

Lightning began to strike around them, but all three eventually made it to the camp a little frazzled, but in otherwise good condition.

Read the story here.

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