Search resumes for climber missing since 2016 near Maroon Bells |

Search resumes for climber missing since 2016 near Maroon Bells

David Cook

Search-and-rescue teams spent nearly 20 hours since Saturday looking for a climber who went missing in September 2016 in the Maroon Bells area but did not find any clues.

David Cook, 49, from Corrales, New Mexico, was reported missing Sept. 20. He was climbing solo and the former Marine planned to climb Pyramid Peak one day and then South Maroon and North Maroon peaks the next day, officials said at the time. They searched for eight days.

On Wednesday, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said Mountain Rescue Aspen and other teams spent nearly nine hours Saturday and another nine hours Wednesday looking for signs of Cook. Teams also went out in July to look for Cook.

Search teams Saturday included a canine crew that were dropped into the Fravert and Lost Remuda basins via helicopter, the Sheriff’s Office said. Crews from Garfield County and West Elk search-and-rescue organizations joined a team from the Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States.

Fravert Basin is on the west and south side of Maroon Peak; the Lost Remuda Basin is on the west side of North Maroon Peak. The Sheriff’s Office said ground teams Saturday also searched an area of the East Maroon trail as well as the Minnehaha Gulch and near Crater Lake in the area known as the Garbage Chute.

Wednesday’s operations included rescuers climbing Maroon, North Maroon and Pyramid peaks. Crews included volunteers from Alpine Rescue in Evergreen, Rocky Mountain Rescue from Boulder, the Vail Mountain Rescue and Colorado Forensic Canines from Bailey.

In July, Cook’s wife, Maureen, sent a letter to the Aspen community thanking them for their efforts and support in the continued search.

 Editor’s note: Mountain Rescue Aspen was inadvertently omitted from the initial story, and this report has been updated to reflect the addition. 

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