A terrible tragedy
August 17, 2010
This past Saturday, Aug. 14, there was a terrible tragedy on the Maroon Bells. Aspen Alpine Guides had a guide, Adam Dyer, sitting on the summit of North Maroon Peak with one client when they heard from the direction of South Maroon Peak a tremendous rockfall, followed by shouts of distress.
Adam, who is an EMT and trained medical nurse, had a moral dilemma whether to stay with his client on the summit or go help the party on Maroon Peak. He made the decision to cross the Bells Traverse to help the other party, which was the right decision. Adam gave instructions to his client to stay on the summit till he came back or other help arrived. He then called the owners of Aspen Alpine Guides to let them know the situation and to request assistance from Mountain Rescue Aspen. Upon receiving the call, Aspen Alpine Guides quickly dispatched a guide with rescue gear to help the client on North Maroon.
Adam went across the traverse and then rappelled into the Bell Cord Couloir to help the fallen climber; at this point Adam did not know the tragic outcome of the fallen climber.
A team from Mountain Rescue Aspen came up the Bell Cord to help in the recovery along with two other recreational climbers.
The guide going up North Maroon met the client coming down with two Aspen locals at the 13,000-foot level.
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Aspen Alpine Guides wants to thank the two locals for caring for our client till the guide arrived. Also, we want to thank Aspen Expeditions, the U.S. Forest Service, the three different helicopter agencies involved and all of the support from Mountain Rescue Aspen.
Mountain Rescue Aspen is truly a skilled and professional organization that showed incredible daring and bravery on this dangerous mission that went into the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 15. Please support Mountain Rescue Aspen in any way you can; it is an amazing community resource.
Lastly, our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Spencer James Nelson for the loss of such a young and vibrant individual.
Aspen Alpine Guides