This week in local history: Young hiker rescued from dangerous winter hike over Rollins Pass
March 23, 2018
Members of the Winter Park ski area under the direction of Walt Werner, Fraser district ranger, effected a successful rescue of a young hiker on Rollins Pass on March 19, 1968.
The young hiker, Albert Hendricks, 17, of Valhalla, N.Y., along with two fellow students at the University of Wyoming attempted to hike over Rollins Pass from east portal to Winter Park.
They left early Saturday morning and spent the first night at the Needles Eye tunnel. On Sunday, fighting the deep snow, they made it to the Trestle campground and set up a camp in the Forest Service toilet. Not being adequately prepared for the rigorous journey through deep snow, they spent all day Monday resting at the Trestle campground. To keep warm, they dismantled the interior wall of the toilet and burned it.
Tuesday morning, John Drury, 18, of Phelps, N.Y., and Dennis Allf of Berlin, Wis., made their way to the Winter Park ranger station to seek help for young Hendricks who was ill and could not make it out. A Sprite snowcat was dispatched from the Winter Park ski area with Werner; C.B. Jensen, assistant ski patrol leader; Ted Birdsall, chief of slope maintenance; and Bob Davis, who is the ski area photographer. The men reached young Hendricks at 3 p.m. and evacuated him to Winter Park.
Had the weather been very stormy during the period the boys were caught up on the pass, the whole situation would have been a grave consequence, observed Werner. The boys were attempting the trip without the aid of snowshoes or skis and were dressed in light clothing.
Drury was sent to the Colorado General hospital with severely frostbitten feet.
–From the March 22, 1968 edition of Sky-Hi News