Collapsed hiker ID’d |

Collapsed hiker ID’d

Staff report

A man who died while hiking on Conundrum Trail on Friday has been identified by the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office.

Gary Alan Zimmerman, 55, of Longmont, died of a heart attack, according to a statement issued late Saturday night by Deputy Coroner Jennifer Diamond.

At 12:30 p.m. Friday, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office received a report that a Front Range man had collapsed on Conundrum Trail, less than 5 miles below the area’s hot springs, and that life-saving techniques were in progress. The Sheriff’s Office immediately contacted Mountain Rescue Aspen, a Friday afternoon statement said.

Mountain Rescue Aspen then asked Flight for Life to fly to the man’s location, the Sheriff’s Office said. The aerial medical-transport service was able to land approximately one-half mile from the subject. Emergency personnel hiked to him and confirmed that he had died, authorities said.

Mountain Rescue Aspen arrived on the scene soon afterward and moved Zimmerman via helicopter to the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport. The Coroner’s Office then transported him to Aspen Valley Hospital, authorities said.

In all, nine members of Mountain Rescue Aspen were involved in the incident, seven of whom used four all-terrain vehicles to travel the first 2 miles of the trail. The seven emergency responders then hiked the remainder of the distance with equipment to carry Zimmerman to the helicopter, authorities said.

The statement contained a reminder from Mountain Rescue Aspen and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office suggesting that backcountry travelers purchase a Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue card. Proceeds from the card help reimburse authorities for expenses and lost or damaged equipment resulting from rescue missions.

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