ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Search and rescue crews had a busy Sunday, rescuing three people off a popular trail in the Sandias.
“It’s very alluring. People forget with a 3,000 ft elevation change you can have drastically different conditions up top,” said Bob Baker with New Mexico Search and Rescue.
On Sunday afternoon, a man in town from Texas started hiking up the strenuous La Luz trail.
“His original plan was to take a nice afternoon hike and get up to the top and catch an Uber down,” said Baker.
That man never called an Uber, but he did end up having to call New Mexico Search and Rescue for help.
“He was very cold. He could not feel his toes. It was a very urgent situation that we get to him,” said Baker.
Baker says their crews, along with Bernalillo County Fire, started heading up the snowy mountain around 10 p.m. Sunday night. They ultimately used the website and app “findmesar.com” to pinpoint exactly where the distressed hiker was.
“He was about a quarter-mile from the upper parking lot, not very far at all but still very treacherous conditions,” said Baker.
It took crews about an hour to reach the man, who was stuck in thigh-high snow.
“We spent several hours rewarming him and getting him fed and hydrated so he would be able to walk out,” said Baker.
Baker says the man was in the snow for a total of 12 hours. He says the man is doing fine, but that the situation could’ve been much worse.
“The gentleman we rescued yesterday actually was pretty well prepared, but still it was beyond his capabilities,” said Baker.
Baker says two 19-year-olds also got lost while hiking the La Luz trail and needed help getting down. However, they did not need serious medical attention.