The last 2 years I have went on cross country skiing to Yurts in southern Colorado near Chama, NM. This year I declined the trip for several reason. Chama is getting hit with record snow this week and my friends did not show at the meeting point on Saturday or Sunday. They have since closed the roads between Chama and the boarder. I am in AZ right now and my other friend Steve (who also usually goes but didn’t this year) has been in touch with the sheriffs department. Here’s his report for today.
Search & Rescue could not reach them today. There are 3 parties stranded: 5, 4 & 2 people according to sherif’s dpt (when I called this PM). Search called off for tonight. 2 snow cats being loaded for deployment in AM. Snow condition are severe… possibly record-breaking.
Hopefully, when they tried to leave the Yurt, they realized they couldn’t make it out and went back. They will be warm and comfortable in the yurt but they are running out of food. I hope they get to them tomorrow.
Update 02/05/08 6:43 am: I’m happy to report that my friends are safe. Apparently, search and rescue wasn’t able to make it to their yurt, equipment issues of some sort. When the owner of the yurt was contacted he said he could make it up, on skis. Which he did and guided them out. Impressive, no? Keep in mind this guy probably skis up to the yurt in between rentals with supplies to restock it. He could probably do it blindfolded. I now get to look forward to the stories.
Chama, by the way, has been declared a disaster area and I don’t think they have figured out how they are going to get back there to pick up their vehicles.