BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — A Texas man’s attempt to find the perfect scenic location to propose ended with the couple getting lost in the dark on a mountain in Boulder County.
Joshua Mason, 27, and his girlfriend, Katie Davis, 28, flew from Denton, Texas, to Denver on Friday, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said.
The next day, Mason took Davis on a hike to Jasper Peak on the Continental Divide, northwest of Nederland.
They hiked about eight miles, with an elevation gain of over 3,000 feet, to the nearly 13,000-foot summit.
“Mason was hoping to find an isolated scenic location ‘away from any other people’ to propose to Davis,” the sheriff’s office said. “They found exactly such a location, and Davis happily accepted the surprise proposal.”
However, they got a late start back and it started to get dark. There is no readily identifiable trail to Jasper Peak and they got disoriented and lost, the sheriff’s office said.
They were not equipped for cold weather or to camp overnight and they only had a little water.
Fortunately, a man hiking in the area found the couple and led them to a group of his friends who were camping at Diamond Lake.
Mason and Davis were showing signs of altitude sickness as well as severe dehydration, and the campers gave them water and food and let them warm up in their tent.
Due to the couple’s condition, one of the campers hiked down from Diamond Lake to her vehicle at the 4th of trailhead and then drove down to Nederland to get cell service and called 911.
Boulder County Communications received the call just after 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, and Boulder County sheriff’s deputies, the Nederland Fire Protection District and the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group responded.
A Nederland Fire Protection District paramedic located the campers at Diamond Lake at about 4:30 a.m.
“He determined that Mason and Davis needed to move to a lower altitude immediately,” the sheriff’s office stated. “By that point they had recovered enough that they were both able to walk down to the trail head, assisted by Rocky Mountain Rescue Group personnel.”
They made it back to the trailhead at about 6:30 a.m.
“Mason acknowledged that he did not allow enough time to complete the hike before dark, and they did not carry enough water or food,” the sheriff’s office stated. “Deputies determined that the couple’s engagement was still on, despite the memorable ordeal.”
CBS4 – Denver