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Summit County Rescue Group on track for record year

Visitors flocked to the Summit County backcountry this summer to escape the humdrum of urban life on the Front Range.

FRISCO, Colo. — The Summit County Rescue Group is on track for its busiest year ever.

Visitors flocked to the Summit County backcountry this summer to escape the humdrum of urban life on the Front Range or drove across state lines for quick trips to the mountains, perhaps pushing aside other plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And when there are visitors in the High Country, there will always be some who go missing or get injured. While the number of visitors heading through the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels is actually lower this year, according to data provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation, there seemingly hasn’t been a dip in the amount of visiting hikers, climbers and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

“We saw not only an increase in the number of rescues, but just driving around and looking at the trailheads, you saw the large number of cars that were parked,” said Charles Pitman, public information officer with the rescue group. “It was crazy, especially on busier trails like Quandary, where the parking lots would fill up, and people would park up and down Colorado Highway 9.

“In other areas — like the top of Ryan Gulch Road, where you would park to access the trails up to Buffalo Mountain and Lily Pad Lake — people were literally circling around and parking in the middle of the road waiting for people to leave. … That’s what we’re seeing in the statistics for the number of rescues called.”

>> Read the full article in Summit Daily.    

>> Watch video above on Summit County actors taking show on the road after coronavirus closed theater. 

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