Three lost skiers found outside Blue Sky Basin |

Three lost skiers found outside Blue Sky Basin

Cliff Thompson

VAIL MOUNTAIN ” Three skiers in search of backcountry skiing Thursday spent a chilly night in the woods south of Vail’s Blue Sky Basin before searchers found them Friday morning.

All were in good spirits and suffered no ill effects from spending the night huddled in a snow pit they lined with spruce branches to stay warm, said Julie Rust, director of the Vail Ski Patrol.

They were found in the Lime Creek Drainage, and with ski patrol guidance, skied into Red Cliff where search and rescue personnel took them back to Vail.

Two of the wayward skiers were found at about 9:30 a.m. and the third was found at 11:30. They were part of a larger party that started out to ski the backcountry beyond Blue Sky Basin.

The trio split up in the morning, with one skier attempting to ascend to the top of the ridge and back into Blue Sky Basin.

It was snowing when they entered the back country, Rust said, and temperatures Thursday night dipped into the low 20s as skies cleared overnight.

“They violated one of the rules ” they got separated from each other and didn’t wait for each other,” Rust said.

Rust said it appears the trio took a wrong turn after crossing the ridge that separates Blue Sky Basin from Battle Mountain.

More than 30 people from the ski patrol, mountain security staff for the resort, the U.S. Forest Service and Vail Mountain Rescue participated in the search.

The Vail Ski Patrol did not release the names of the skiers who were ages 47 to 64.

Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or

Vail Colorado

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