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Chaffee County Search & Rescue–North rescued three exhausted hikers on Mount Belford Sunday evening.

Search and Rescue was paged out to the fourteener at about 5 p.m., Nov. 29. According to an update on CCSAR-N’s Facebook page, the hikers were without headlamps for nighttime hiking or adequate winter gear.

The team intercepted the hikers a few miles up the Missouri Basin trail and hiked them out safely. All parties were out of the field by about 9:30 p.m.

“Please respect the challenge of winter in the backcountry,” the Facebook post said. “Trenching and snow travel increase the difficulty and duration of outings, darkness comes early, and temperatures plummet at night.”

The ambient temperature at the trailhead was 11 degrees when the four-member SAR teamarrived, the post said.

According to predictive weather models at mountain-forecast.com, the air temperature at Belford’s 14,197 foot summit Monday night got as low as 3 degrees, with a windchill as low as -17 degrees.

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