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Rescuers deserve support

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:On Saturday morning, July 10, I began a day hike from the West Maroon portal, over Willow Pass, and descending via the East Snowmass Creek trail. I anticipated hiking into Snowmass Village around 4 or 5 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.Unfortunately, I missed a turn to East Snowmass Creek and ended up in the Willow Creek drainage. I spent a cold night on the mountain and a difficult day on Sunday unsuccessfully trying to walk out. Mountain Rescue Aspen was called and launched a search for me Sunday morning. I was told more than 15 members of the Mountain Rescue team spent the better part of the day hiking and searching for me. Their diligent rescue effort even included a search plane.When found, I was treated with respect and the utmost kindness. The team members I met were all unassuming, humble folks who responded to my thanks with a “no problem, it’s our job” kind of attitude. I have since learned that Mountain Rescue Aspen is an entirely voluntary, nonprofit organization, which depends primarily on private donations to cover their expenses. The volunteers receive no compensation for their heroic efforts, give up countless hours away from jobs and families, and sometimes put their own lives at risk to respond when someone is in need.I want to say thank you to these wonderful folks for coming to my rescue. My family has made a contribution to Mountain Rescue Aspen in appreciation and recognition. We would also like to recommend this fine organization as one that would be worthy of your charitable dollars. We are very lucky here in this beautiful valley to have this well-trained team of volunteers looking out for us all.Mark McKellerWoody Creek


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