A woman and her dog, lost on the Grand Mesa, survived a sub-freezing night and are alive thanks to the efforts of Mesa County Search and Rescue Teams.

New Mexico Woman and Dog Lost On Grand Mesa

The unlikely rescue happened late Tuesday night, according to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.  A backcountry skier was reported overdue and possibly lost on the Grand Mesa at about 9:30 Tuesday evening. The 61-year old woman was reportedly visiting from New Mexico along with her dog.

After finding the woman's car at the Mesa Top Trailhead parking lot, Mesa County Sheriff's deputies along with Mesa County Search and Rescue's Snowskipper Team and Careflight's helicopter began searching for the woman immediately.

Overnight Temperatures Near 15 Below

Fresh snow made it difficult to see where the woman might have gone and the Colorado winter weather didn't help. Three teams of snowmobilers searched for several hours in temperatures nearing minus 15 degrees. It was so cold, one team of searchers got stranded because the electronics on their snowmobile kept freezing. As another team went to provide help to the stranded team, the MCSO says they "miraculously" found the woman and her dog alive at about 4:30 Wednesday morning, several miles from the trailhead.

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Search Crews Said It Was A Miracle

The woman ended up being found in an area of dense trees - which made it impossible for her to be spotted by the searching helicopter. Search crews said it was a "miracle" that she was found and that she and the dog survived so many hours in the freezing weather.

Paramedics treated the woman at the scene for exposure, but, otherwise, she was in good health and feeling lucky to be alive.

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