Man dies on Mount Sopris
A pair of female hikers reported an unconscious man just below the false summit of Mount Sopris on Thursday and performed CPR on him, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said via a statement Thursday afternoon. The man did not survive.
The hikers called in the emergency at around 1 p.m. Personnel from Aspen Ambulance, Mountain Rescue Aspen, Flight for Life Colorado, the High Altitude Aviation Training Site and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office participated in the mission. Mount Sopris is located outside Carbondale with a peak elevation of 12,966 feet.
After the initial 911 call was received, dispatchers provided CPR instructions to the hikers, who did a tremendous job in their attempt to revive the man, according to the statement. A deputy was immediately assigned to the call and Flight for Life was requested to respond to the scene.
Due to poor cellphone service in the area, Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Alex Burchetta said dispatchers focused on providing CPR instructions to the reporting party and did not gather a lot of specifics about the situation in which the victim was found. The Sheriff’s Office doesn’t know whether the man fell or suffered some kind of medical issue, or if something else could have contributed to his death, Burchetta said.
Mountain Rescue Aspen and a helicopter crew from the High Altitude Aviation Training Site was activated to assist with the rescue and, eventually, recovery operations.
The body of the male hiker was recovered from the scene and transported via helicopter to an awaiting ambulance at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport. The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office has taken custody of the body and is completing its investigation into today’s events in conjunction with the investigation underway by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
The deceased hiker’s identity is not being released at this time. Information pertaining to the identity will be released by the Coroner’s Office once the next of kin has been notified.
Burchetta said rescuers and the female hikers were still hiking down from Mount Sopris at around 5 p.m. Thursday. He said deputies planned to meet with them to gather more information as soon as possible.