PINEDALE, Wyo. — A growing number of searchers continued looking on Tuesday for Carbondale resident and well-known environmental activist James “Randy” Udall, who failed to return on June 26 from a hike that started on June 20 and was supposed to last for six days or so.
Udall, 61, set off on his solo hike from the Elkhart Park trailhead, located near Pinedale, in a part of the Wind River Range. He had completed numerous hikes in the same mountains in the past, according to reports from friends.
Udall, a founder of the energy efficiency group, Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) in Carbondale, is the brother of U.S. Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, and cousin (not brother, as reported earlier) of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico.
According to a report posted on a Sublette County Sheriff’s Department website at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, there was no particular news to offer, except that the search is ongoing and that several search and rescue teams from the region are now involved.
The sheriff’s report indicated that weather conditions have been favorable for the search teams, and that in addition to the Tip Top Search and Rescue team from Sublette County, SAR teams have arrived from Fremont County, Teton County and the U.S. Forest Service.
Those teams are searching on foot, combing an area measuring 225 square miles, aided by a helicopter hired by Sublette County and an Air National Guard helicopter as of Tuesday morning.
Another helicopter, from an undisclosed agency, was scheduled to join the search effort on Tuesday afternoon, according to the statement from Sublette County Sheriff Dave Lankford.
Udall is known as an experienced mountaineer, said a friend, Cameron Burns of Basalt, who told the Post Independent that Udall’s hiking and climbing exploits are mentioned several times in the book, “Climb: Tales of Man Versus Boulder, Crag, Wall and Peak,” published in 2006 and edited by Cameron M. Burns and his father, Kerry L. Burns.