According to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, 56-year-old Beth Skelley of Lafayette died shortly after her tent was struck by a tree on the evening of August 12. She and two companions were in a backcountry area under Grizzly Peak, just northwest of Engineer Mountain. The female companions were unharmed.
San Juan County and La Plata County Search and Rescue teams, and Flight for Life air support out of Mercy Medical Center made several attempts to revive Skelley. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The mountains are dangerous. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid setting up camp under potential hazards. This includes trees that appear to be dead or damaged.
Keep an eye out for signs of loose bark or fungus. Remember, loose boulders, branches, bushes, downed trees can all be uprooted during heavy rain, strong winds, or severe weather.