Mountain Rescue Aspen eyes new site for its headquarters | AspenTimes.com

Mountain Rescue Aspen eyes new site for its headquarters

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – A charitable trust affiliated with Mountain Rescue Aspen is eyeing property across from the Aspen airport as a possible new headquarters for the rescue organization.

The Mountain Rescue Aspen Charitable Trust has a contract to purchase land along Highway 82 that is currently home to the Aspen branch of Planted Earth nursery. Mountain Rescue Aspen is working with land-use professionals to determine whether the property is suitable for zoning, planning and design for a new headquarters. The planning group – which includes Charles Cunniffe Architects and Stan Clauson Land Planners – will hold meetings with local homeowners associations and will go through the public rezoning process.

Mountain Rescue Aspen has been on West Main Street in the Rossetter Cabin since 1965. It leases the land from the city of Aspen.

“For many years the cabin has been too small to hold all of the team vehicles and equipment, which have been variously kept at members’ homes, the (U.S. Forest Service) parking lot, local streets and also on the Zupancis property,” Mountain Rescue Aspen said in a statement. “The cabin has also become too small for larger operations and trainings.”

The new headquarters is possible because of a gift from Lynda Cameron. She was rescued along with four other people by Mountain Rescue Aspen from an airplane crash site in the Pitkin County backcountry. Cameron’s father, C.B. Cameron, was killed in the accident. Her donation of $1.5 million was made in his name.

Mountain Rescue Aspen wants its new facility to be an education center for residents and visitors venturing into the backcountry. New programs will be offered on avalanche-safety education and backcountry-travel preparedness and safety.

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Mountain Rescue Aspen’s statement said it will make “naming opportunities” available for the new facility and will develop a fundraising campaign. Mountain Rescue Aspen is a volunteer organization with no paid staff. It relies on donations and grants to purchase vehicles, equipment, training and insurance and for operational costs.

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