Hiker killed near Aspen; climber rescued
August 26, 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 at about 2:50 p.m. Two people in a party of five were reported to be 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.
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 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.
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.
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With assistance from the Flight for Life and National Guard choppers, the climber was airlifted off the mountain at about 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.
None of the victims in Saturday’s rescues were identified in Sheriff’s Office press releases.