Breaking news: Hut trip ski group reported lost near Aspen
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” Pitkin County rescuers are searching for six skiers who reportedly became lost in whiteout conditions Friday evening while making their way to a backcountry hut south of Aspen Mountain.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office received a report of the lost party in the area of the Goodwin-Greene Hut, at about 6:30 p.m. Friday. The reporting party said he was hiking with six other people to the hut when he became separated from the main group. He made his way out of the wilderness and contacted authorities, according to the sheriff’s office.
The group is reportedly made up of experienced skiers, but they have never been to the Goodwin-Greene Hut, located at 11,680 feet, at the head of the Difficult Creek drainage, about 12 miles south of the Aspen Mountain ski area. The hut is part of the Alfred A. Braun Huts and Friends Hut System and is often accessed by skiing out Richmond Ridge, extending south off the summit of the ski area, and then dropping down to the east to reach the hut.
Mountain Rescue Aspen planned to begin searching for the group at 7 a.m. Saturday, sending three snowmobile teams out from the top of Little Annie Road, which winds up the backside of Aspen Mountain from Castle Creek Road.
The Goodwin-Greene hut is located in areas of known avalanche terrain with recurring avalanche cycles, the sheriff’s office noted.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has rated the avalanche danger in the Aspen area as considerable on Saturday, after new, wet snow loaded mountain slopes on Friday and Friday night. Aspen Mountain reported 7 inches of new snow on Saturday morning, and Aspen Highlands reported 8 inches. Snowmass had 5 inches and Buttermilk picked up 3 inches.
The Aspen area is under a winter storm warning, in effect until 6 a.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Periods of snow are expected through the weekend, with snow accumulations of one to two feet; higher amounts are possible on west- and southwest-facing slopes. Gusty winds may produce areas of blowing snow, according to the weather service.
Rain may mix with snow at times, at elevations below 8,000 feet, the weather service said.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
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