Crews: Rescued woman unprepared for hike

Posted at: 03/02/2014 10:17 PM
Updated at: 03/02/2014 11:15 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Just before nightfall Sunday, crews rescued a stranded 23-year-old hiker from the La Luz Trail near the Sandia Crest.

She had been stuck and hypothermic for hours.

But first responders say she should have never been hiking in the first place.

Exhausted and frustrated, 23-year-old Shontel Trujillo and her boyfriend Chris Pearson were re-united after an all-day ordeal.

Even though other hikers told them that they were not prepared and to turn around, they did not.

New Mexico Search and Rescue Commander Bruce Berry says the pair made their first mistake early Sunday morning.

Trekking the Sandia Crest from the La Luz Trail head in a group of five, no one was prepared for the cold.

But despite the warnings, they kept going.

“She was the least prepared and became hypothermic,” Berry said.

In the middle of the trail, Trujillo became so cold that she could not move.

Rescuers spent about an hour treating her trailside before walking her to the crest and coming back to safety on the Sandia Peak Tram.

She was able to walk away.

“Don’t come to this mountain unprepared because it’s very unforgiving,” Berry said.

It is a lesson for all of us.

“These people were very lucky,” Berry said.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 tried to catch up with Trujillo and Pearson, but they did not want to talk about their experience.