Rescuers find skiers in Aspen backcountry
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado ” Six skiers who were reported lost in the backcountry south of Aspen, Colorado Friday evening were located by rescuers shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday and were out the wilderness by about 12:45 p.m., according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Members of Mountain Rescue Aspen made contact with the group in the area near Taylor Creek and Express Creek, about 12 miles south of Aspen Mountain, at 10:50 a.m., the sheriff’s office reported. No one in the group was injured; they were making their way out of the wilderness toward Express Creek when rescuers encountered the party. The rescue team accompanied the group as they skied out.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Steindler said the six reached the hut safely Friday, but left Saturday morning over concerns about the man who was separated from them. The man called authorities Friday night, concerned the rest of the group might be lost.
He told the sheriff’s office he was hiking with six other people to the Goodwin-Greene Hut when he became separated from the main group in whiteout conditions. He made his way out of the wilderness and called authorities at about 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Saturday morning’s search took place in snow and blowing snow, the sheriff’s office said. The Aspen area is under a winter storm warning until 6 a.m. Monday; the National Weather Service is predicting an additional 1 to 2 feet of snow in the central mountains of Colorado this weekend.
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Searchers headed out on snowmobiles at about 7 a.m.
The group, described as experienced skiers, had reportedly never been to the Goodwin-Greene Hut before. It’s located at 11,680 feet in the Difficult Creek drainage, south of the Aspen Mountain ski area. The hut is to the east of Richmond Ridge, which extends south from the summit of Aspen Mountain; Express Creek is to the south and west of the ridge.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.