Mountain Rescue Aspen swamped with missions; woman remains missing |

Mountain Rescue Aspen swamped with missions; woman remains missing

Group still working on plan to get dead hiker's body off Capitol Peak

The view from Capitol Peak earlier this summer.
Kevin Berrigan / Courtesy Photo

Mountain Rescue Aspen responded to separate search and rescue incidents Monday, including a missing woman, while planning the recovery effort of a man who died Sunday on Capitol Peak.

“I would say it’s been a very busy 10 days for Mountain Rescue Aspen,” Pitkin County Deputy Sheriff Alex Burchetta said.

Search and rescue teams were in the field Monday seeking a woman who had been reported overdue from hiking in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness when they encountered a party seeking help for a different injured hiker in the Minnehaha Gulch area, Burchetta said.

A team carried out the injured hiker, a 22-year-old male, Monday afternoon, Deputy Sheriff Michael Buglione said. Indications were the hiker had a broken ankle.

Meanwhile, the search remains active for a 57-year-old Front Range woman who was possibly hiking Maroon Peak, North Maroon or Pyramid Peak, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“She was reported overdue to us (Sunday),” Burchetta said. As of Monday early afternoon she was about 48 hours overdue.

The woman was reported missing by her son, Burchetta said, but details were unknown of the hiker’s exact destination.

While undertaking those missions, Mountain Rescue Aspen also was in the process of determining a plan to recover the climber’s body after the fatal fall from the Knife’s Edge area of Capitol Peak.

RELATED: Capitol Peak deaths since 2000

Buglione, acting as deputy coroner, said he wasn’t prepared to release the man’s name until the recovery, expected on Wednesday. The victim is believed to be a 35-year-old male from the Front Range, Buglione said.

The man was hiking with three companions. The others in the party were uninjured and have returned to their homes, according to Buglione.

Burchetta said the body is “in a super-precarious” location, so Mountain Rescue is doing its “due diligence” to come up with a plan that minimizes the risk to its members.