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Search and Rescue assist youth

Minnesota boy suffers from altitude sickness

— Routt County Search and Rescue members hiked a little more than seven miles, much of it in the Flat Tops Wilderness Thursday morning, to rescue a 16-year-old Minnesota boy who had altitude sickness.

A Search and Rescue crew of 18 reached the boy at about 7:30 a.m. after initially receiving the call at 1:47 a.m., incident commander Adam Christman said.

The boy was at Deer Lake in the Flat Tops Wilderness, west of Stillwater Reservoir. He was part of a Christian group that was camping there.



He was diagnosed with cerebral edema, which is a swelling of the brain due to altitude, Christman said.

“He was stable when we reached him,” he said.



The boy was vomiting and lethargic and had been in his tent for 24 hours. Christman said the best care for the boy was to get him to lower elevation.

With help from the the boy’s fellow campers for the first mile, the Search and Rescue crew carried the victim using a backboard with a wheel on it, down the trail 5,000 feet.

The hike took four-and-half hours, Christman said.

The Yampa Ambulance transported the boy to Yampa Valley Medical Center at 1:15 p.m.

Christman said when the boy reached lower elevations, he felt better.

The boy was released from the medical center on Friday morning, he said.

Routt County Search and Rescue was assisted by the Routt County Sheriff’s Office and the Garfield County Sheriff’s office.


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