Mountain Rescue Aspen undertakes separate search and rescue operations Monday | AspenTimes.com

Mountain Rescue Aspen undertakes separate search and rescue operations Monday

Numerous people are venturing into the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness this month, triggering needs for Mountain Rescue Aspen services.

Mountain Rescue Aspen responded to separate search-and-rescue incidents Monday, including a missing woman, while planning the recovery effort of a man who died Sunday on Capitol Peak.

"I would say it's been a very busy 10 days for Mountain Rescue Aspen," Pitkin County Deputy Sheriff Alex Burchetta said.

Search-and-rescue teams were in the field Monday seeking a woman who had been reported overdue from hiking in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness when they encountered a party seeking help for a different injured hiker in the Minnehaha Gulch area, Burchetta said.

A team carried out the injured hiker, a 22-year-old male, Monday afternoon, Deputy Sheriff Michael Buglione said. Indications are the hiker had a broken ankle and he was receiving medical attention Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the search remains active for a 57-year-old Front Range woman who was possibly hiking Maroon Peak, North Maroon or Pyramid Peak, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"She was reported overdue to us (Sunday)," Burchetta said. As of Monday early afternoon she was about 48 hours overdue.

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The woman was reported missing by her son, Burchetta said, but details were unknown of the hiker's exact destination.

While undertaking those missions, Mountain Rescue Aspen also was in the process of determining a plan to recover a climber's body after a fatal fall from the Knife's Edge area of Capitol Peak. Buglione, acting as deputy coroner, said he wasn't prepared to release the man's name until the recovery, expected Wednesday. The victim is believed to be a 35-year-old male from the Front Range, Buglione said.

The man was hiking with three companions. The others in the party were uninjured and have returned to their homes, according to Buglione.

Burchetta said the body is "in a super-precarious" location, so Mountain Rescue is doing its "due diligence" to come up with a plan that minimizes the risk to its members.

scondon@aspentimes.com

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