Hiker killed in rock slide on Hagerman Peak
August 27, 2012
ASPEN – A hiker was killed Saturday in a rock slide on Hagerman Peak, about 11 miles southeast of Aspen, on an afternoon that had members of Mountain Rescue Aspen scrambling to rescue a climber on South Maroon Peak, as well.
Authorities were notified of the rock slide around 2:50 p.m. Two people in a party of five were reported injured, one seriously, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Hagerman Peak is located south of Snowmass Mountain (not to be confused with Snowmass Ski Area) in the Elk Mountains, just across the Pitkin-Gunnison County line. Mountain Rescue responded through a mutual-aid arrangement with Gunnison County. The rock slide occurred at nearly 13,000 feet.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office declined to identify the rock-slide victim Sunday, referring questions to the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office. A Gunnison emergency dispatcher said no further information would be released until Monday. The Denver Post reported that the victim was a 24-year-old Connecticut man but did not name him.
Four Mountain Rescue members were placed near the hiking party by a Flight for Life helicopter out of Summit County. Upon their arrival, they found one hiker dead; the individual had suffered chest injuries, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. Recovery of the body is being led by the Gunnison County coroner.
The rest of the hiking party, including one person with an ankle injury, and the Mountain Rescue team were airlifted from the scene by a National Guard helicopter out of Eagle and taken to the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport. The injured hiker was taken by Aspen Ambulance to Aspen Valley Hospital.
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About an hour into the Hagerman Peak rescue, at 3:40 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office was notified of an injured climber on the South Maroon trail, about 12 miles southwest of Aspen. Members of Mountain Rescue were reassigned to cover the second mission.
With assistance from the Flight for Life and National Guard helicopters, the climber was airlifted off the mountain around 8:20 p.m. in fading light. The climber’s injuries were not life threatening; the individual was taken to the airport and then transferred to a waiting ambulance for transport to the hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Mountain Rescue members hiked out; they were out of the field at 11:30 p.m.