Lost skier rescued near Aspen Mountain | AspenTimes.com

Lost skier rescued near Aspen Mountain

Aspen Times Staff

A backcountry skier who became lost east of the Aspen Mountain Ski Area on Friday afternoon was rescued by ski patrollers after he contacted his friend via a walkie-talkie.

Andrew Hoffman of Albuquerque, N.M., was found in the Strawberry Gulch area on the north side of Richmond Ridge. The ski patrol assisted Hoffman to Highway 82 east of town, where he was picked up by sheriff’s deputies at 7:45 p.m. He became separated from his party at 3 p.m.

Hoffman was in communication with his friend, Joseph Wimmer, also of Albuquerque, through a $69 two-way radio. Wimmer helped patrollers find his lost friend.

Hoffman had never skied Aspen Mountain and was unfamiliar with the area. He and his friend had arrived in town earlier in the day. Hoffman was found in an area which claimed the life of another out-of-bounds skier several years ago.

“Due to recent snow and high winds adding weight on a fragile snowpack, an avalanche warning has been put in place for the Aspen area,” Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy Jim Hearn wrote in a prepared statement. “Backcountry enthusiasts are advised to get their powder in the controlled ski areas until the backcountry stabilizes.”

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