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Bandelier National Monument staff, supported by county resources including the Los Alamos Police and Fire Departments, were involved in two rescues in the last two weeks — one of a couple on Saturday and the other of a group last Friday.
In both cases, the lost parties were rescued safely. Around midnight on Saturday, the Los Alamos Police Department’s dispatch received a call from a couple in Bandelier’s backcountry.
The couple had planned to hike the 15 mile loop from Ponderosa campground to Yapashi Pueblo and back to Frijoles Canyon where they had parked a second car. They hiked through the Alamo and Lummis Canyons before sunset but as it got dark the couple realized they could not find their way without flashlights and called 911.
After the call was received, police officers contacted the monument’s Chief Ranger and crews gathered in Frijoles Canyon to begin the search. Before hiking to the couple, police were able to get in touch with them on their cell phone. They were in good condition with food and water but were getting cold. Searchers were able to deduce that the couple was on the trail between Lummis and Frijoles Canyon. Around 1:15 am, two Los Alamos County police officers hiked into the backcountry and made contact with the couple at 2:28 am.
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