Grottos area miscues keep rescuers, volunteers busy Monday |

Grottos area miscues keep rescuers, volunteers busy Monday

Staff report
The Roaring Fork River, running through the Cascades near the Grottos on Independence Pass.
Brent Gardner-Smith / Aspen Journalism |

A young hiker who fell 10 to 15 feet down a rocky face near the Grottos on Monday had to be rescued by Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteers, firefighters and sheriff’s deputies, according to a news release and an official.

The man fell in an area upvalley from the Grottos at the top of the cascading falls above the popular recreation area located up Independence Pass east of Aspen, the news release states. The man was reported to be 17 or 20 years old and sustained a laceration on his chin and on his knee, according to police radio reports.

MRA volunteers, Aspen Fire Department personnel and Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies rigged a pulley and a litter and ferried the man across the Roaring Fork River, where he was taken to a waiting ambulance, said Alex Burchetta, director of operations at the sheriff’s office.

His condition was not addressed in the news release.

That incident was first reported about 1:50 p.m.

About an hour and a half before, MRA volunteers and deputies responded to what turned out to be an exaggerated report of an injured climber in the area of Lower Lost Man/Turkey Rock, located near the Grottos on Independence Pass.

The climber was later found to be in good condition after a fall, and his friend who first alerted authorities “admitted to blowing the matter out of proportion when he flagged down the passerby and asked him to call 911 for a rescue,” according to a second news release.