Woman rescued by Custer County Search & Rescue

BLACK ELK PEAK, S.D. — Custer County Search and Rescue was able to successfully find a lost hiker Saturday night.

At about 5:30 Saturday, a woman hiking alone up Black Elk Peak called 911 to report that she was lost. The woman had been following Trail 4 on her way down the mountain when, possibly due to snow and a missed directional sign, began walking on Trail 3. She soon realized that she was lost in an area with deep snow and called for help. The woman confirmed with dispatch that she had warm clothes and would stay at her current position until help arrived.

Custer County Search and Rescue took ATVs and UTVs to assist in the rescue, but the snow was still too deep on the trails to make use of them. Despite recent warm weather, higher elevations still have plenty of snow.

A team of four went on foot, leaving others behind as backup. After three hours of hiking, the crew was able to make contact with the lost hiker and continue down Trail 3, where the backup team would be able to meet them near the Needles Highway.

The woman was returned to her vehicle at Sylvan Lake and parted ways with Search and Rescue.

Responders credit the woman’s decision making in calling for help before dark and remaining in one place as the hours passed during the rescue.

Custer County Search and Rescue says they were done debriefing the incident back at their base just past midnight.

Officials remind the public that conditions from Sylvan Lake up to Black Elk Peak and in other mountainous areas are much different than at lower elevations.

Also responding on this call was a Custer County Sheriff’s Deputy, and assistance from the S.D. Department of Transportation in opening the gates on Sylvan Lake Road. The road is still closed to the public.

Categories: Local News