Missing hiker near Aspen sparks search
July 24, 2012
ASPEN – An Internet post from the top of a mountain southwest of Aspen was the last known communication from a man reported missing four days later, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
The 31-year-old man, whose name and hometown were not released, posted the message announcing his arrival at the top of South Maroon Peak on Thursday morning, according to Pitkin County sheriff’s Deputy George Kremer.
“His latitude and longitude were consistent with that location,” Kremer said.
A friend called authorities after the man missed a scheduled shift at work in New York on Saturday and still hadn’t been heard from by Monday afternoon, Kremer said. The missing man’s friend told authorities that the man previously had spoken of plans to hike and climb alone in the Aspen area, Kremer said.
Members of Mountain Rescue Aspen found the man’s vehicle in a parking lot at Maroon Lake and discovered his campsite at Crater Lake, near the base of the mountain, on Monday, Kremer said. Thunderstorms cut a helicopter search of the area short, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.
A ground crew of eight searchers postponed the operation around 8 p.m. Mountain Rescue Aspen planned to resume the search from the air Tuesday at 7 a.m., Kremer said.
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The missing hiker is 6-foot-6 and white with short blond hair and blue eyes, according to the Sheriff’s Office statement. Anyone who was in the area of the Maroon Bells and Crater Lake between Thursday and Monday can call 970-920-5300 if they saw anyone matching that description.