From the Vault: Beware the Backcountry
“Marker placed on mountain where boy was killed,” announced The Aspen Times on Sept. 18, 1952. “A wooden marker with a small cross was placed on a rugged ledge high up on the wind-swept Maroon Bells last week near the spot where Gordon Schindel, 19, of Kansas City was killed in an obvious attempt to save the life of his buddy mountain climber, Larry Hackstaff, 20, of Denver, last week, who is recovering from injuries. The marker was inscribed: ‘To Our Mountain Friend Gordon Schindel Who Died Here September 4, 1952.’ A party of four set out early Friday morning and made the difficult climb of Maroon Bells up the steep passageways of snow roped together, running into a flurry of new snow during the trip. Members of the crew who posted the plaque to the dead boy were Martin Barrett, friend of Gordon Schindel, one of the original climbing party, who reported Schindel and Hackstaff missing; Jack de Pagter, and Loey Ringquist, two of the first volunteer searchers after the accident, and Jim Hosbein.” The photo above (taken by Loey Ringquist) shows Sandy Sabbatini, Toni Woerndle and William “Shady” Lane rescuing Larry Hackstaff off of the Maroon Bells, 1952.
This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at aspenhistory.org.
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