Family of missing Maroon Bells climber releases statement | AspenTimes.com

Family of missing Maroon Bells climber releases statement

Staff report
David Cook

The family of Dave Cook, who has been missing since Sept. 20 in the Maroon-Bells Snowmass Wilderness area, released a statement Sunday regarding Cook and his disappearance. They described Cook as “a highly intelligent, kind, thoughtful, entrepreneurial and loving family man.”

Authorities suspended the search for Cook, 49, from Corrales, New Mexico, on Sept. 30, after looking for him for eight days. He was reported as last being seen the morning of Sept. 20 by a U.S. Forest Service employee near Maroon Lake.

“As an experienced mountaineer with love for the outdoors and mountain climbing, (Cook) has completed 48 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot mountains. He went up on Maroon Bells on Sept. 19 in Aspen. He planned to spend that Monday and Tuesday hiking the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak,” the family said in their statement.

“We would like to give special thanks to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, the search and rescue team of Mountain Rescue Aspen, the other teams from surrounding areas that came in to help, the volunteers and all those who assisted in this search,” the statement said.

“For those who are unfamiliar with the Maroon Bells, please note that the hiking and climbing routes have areas of very dangerous terrain. We would like to raise awareness that the peaks are among the most difficult of the Colorado fourteeners,” the family said.

Cook is described as a white male, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches and weighing 175 pounds. He has short brown-grey hair and light eyes. He was last seen wearing an earth-tone colored shirt, a blue jacket, a black backpack and khaki pants. Cook reportedly was carrying a blue climbing helmet and is described by his friend and family as friendly and outgoing, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office requests that if anyone saw Cook on Sept. 19 or Sept. 20 or believes they have seen Cook to call 970-920-5300.


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