Upon being saved after a fall in Chautauqua Park yesterday, a man reportedly told his rescuers that he'd taken hallucinogenic drugs.
This is hardly the first time such an incident has happened in the area -- and the last time it did, the story went national thanks to the combination of mushrooms and a strip tease.
At about 3 p.m. yesterday, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, dispatch was contacted about a male hiking near the third Flatiron in Chatauqua Park who was "acting strangely."
Then, during the call, the man took a tumble, falling approximately 200 feet down an embankment, the BCSO notes.
Immediately, representatives from a wide range of agencies -- the BCSO, the Boulder Fire Department, City of Boulder Mountain Parks and Open Space, plus Rock Mountain Rescue and American Medical Response -- rushed to the scene. There, they found a man identified as Austin Stevens, and fortunately, his injuries were minor to moderate.
As for what led to the accident, Stevens "allegedly admitted to taking hallucinogenic drugs prior to his hike," the BCSO maintains.
Such intake can't help recalling a May 2013 incident involving Taylor Powers, a 21-year-old CU-Boulder student.
As we reported at the time, a 911 caller reported a female hiker near the third Flatiron in the park "who was high on mushrooms and in distress."
Within about twenty minutes or so, rescuers found Powers, who had reportedly removed all her clothing and was being physically restrained by two companions: Brian Mulligan and William Collins, both 21. The BCSO release notes that she had to be handcuffed for her own safety, with a number of personnel required to secure her to a litter for the trip down the hill.
Before long, national news outlets such as the New York Post and The Smoking Gun were spreading the tale far and wide.
In the meantime, we asked then-BCSO spokesman Rick Brough if rescuers working in the area frequently have to save hikers who've overindulged in one way or another.
"I wouldn't say it's unusual, but it's not on a regular basis, either," Brough said. "We do deal with people who've had too much to drink and get up there, or people who hike around and get in a precarious place and maybe smoke some marijuana and then need help. It happens more than we'd like, but it's not all that frequent."
His advice for people enjoying nature in the area?
"Anytime you get into the backcountry, or even in the foothills, you can easily get yourself in a difficult situation with the terrain, loose rocks, steep inclines, animals like bears and mountain lions and even people -- we've had sexual assaults up there. So anytime you isolate yourself in that kind of environment, I think it's important that you be in the right frame of mind and alert and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol -- because you can get yourself in a bad situation fast."
We're guessing the recovering Stevens agrees.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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