Lightning on Bierstadt sends 3 hikers to hospital
GEORGETOWN — Lightning struck Sunday near the top of Mount Bierstadt, one of Colorado’s most popular 14,000-foot peaks to hike, sending three people to hospitals.
It is not clear if they were directly hit by lightning, but one hiker was in serious condition.
Rescuers and an Army National Guard helicopter responded to Mount Bierstadt, a 14,065-foot peak about 40 miles west of Denver, and helped some hikers get off the mountain. All those who were on the mountain made it off safely.
Eight adults were transported from the trailhead: five who refused further treatment and three who were taken to Denver-area hospitals, the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office said.
Madeleine Ripley told KUSA-TV that she was shocked by a strike while touching a rock.
“I felt lightning and I just started running back down and I kept going,” she said.
Hiker Pete Hunter told the station that the storm seemed to build right on the mountain rather than moving in from the distance.
The summits of Colorado’s 14ers are usually rocky and exposed, making them prone to lightning strikes when afternoon storms develop. Hikers often start early in the day so they can be off the tops by the afternoon.
Mount Bierstadt, named for the Western landscape painter Albert Bierstadt, is one of the most popular to climb because the hike is considered relatively easy and it is fairly close to Denver.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
UPDATE: I-70 eastbound and one lane westbound reopened, as crews still work fire in South Canyon west of Glenwood
Interstate 70 is closed Wednesday afternoon at mile-markers 109 (South Canyon) and 114 (West Glenwood) in both directions due to a fire, according to a 3:11 p.m. notification from Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority.