Lost hikers out safely | AspenTimes.com

Lost hikers out safely

Charles Agar
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

Mountain Rescue Aspen today successfully rescued four hikers who have been missing in the Lost Man area of Independence Pass since Monday afternoon. The group spent the night above treeline. Police said the victims were cold, tired and hungry but in good shape.

Carbondale resident Stephanie Sakson, 48, set out on a family hike yesterday with her 9-year-old daughter Andra, and Andra’s two friends Gillian Wenzal and Matt Palamino, both also 9. The group was accompanied by the family’s Jack Russell Terrier.

The search was difficult because of bad weather. Search aircraft were grounded. Teams from West Eagle and Vail joined Mountain Rescue Aspen in the search. Sakson and the children were found at 10:30 a.m.

“They are walking out now,” said Joe DiSalvo, director of investigations for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. He expected the missing woman and three children would be out by about 1 p.m. The group will attend a 1:30 p.m. press conference at the Rio Grande Conference Room, above the Rio Grande parking garage.

“They are all in good condition,” DiSalvo said. “Just cold and hungry and wet.”

All three children attend the Waldorf School outside Carbondale. With children still missing Tuesday morning, teachers met before classes to discuss the situation and how they would impart the sensitive information on the students, said George Lilly, a school administrator.

Teachers informed students of the situation at the start of the day. Then, just before a planned morning assembly, the news came in that the children had been found.

“We were concerned and hopeful, but now we’re elated,” Lilly said. School officials made no plans to cancel school today. Classes are going on as planned.

Lilly said the lost hikers were not on a school trip.

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