ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two “underprepared” hikers were located and rescued from the La Luz trail Thursday night, Mar. 16. Cibola Search and Rescue worked with Albuquerque Mountain Rescue, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), and Bernalillo County Fire Rescue to recover the hikers.
According to officials, the two hikers were dropped at the crest and had planned to hike to the tram to ride it down. They began to hike the La Luz trial but were not equipped for the heavy snow that is on the Sandia Mountains. According to the BCSO, the hikers were halfway between the crest and the tram when they got stuck on a cliffside and had to call for help.
It took rescuers more than four hours to reach the hikers and another two and a half hours to get them to safety. They were taken to the hospital with hypothermia but are expected to make a full recovery.
Cibola Search and Rescue informs the public that “winter conditions still exist.” They say that parts of the La Luz trail are regularly covered in snow and can be dangerous. “These dangerous conditions are most common in the final half mile of the trail near the tram, and also in places along the Crest Spur,” says Cibola rescue.
Rescue teams encourage hikers to be prepared to turn around or take another trail if the conditions look unsafe. They recommend that hikers “Let someone know your plans, carry extra layers, food, warm water, a GPS with the trails downloaded, and a headlamp. Call 911 in case of an emergency or if you believe you will not be able to self-evacuate.”