Six hikers found safe after failing to return on time from Lost Man Loop hike

By Real Aspen
July 17, 2013
Six lost hikers were located by Mountain Rescue Aspen at about midnight on Tuesday after failing to return from a hike on Lost Man Loop near Independence Pass.

The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen planned a major search for Wednesday morning after the hikers were first reported missing at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, just as darkness was starting to descend.

However, a vehicle search of drainages commonly mistaken for the correct route turned up the six missing hikers and two dogs around midnight. Here's the press release from the sheriff's office:

At approximately 1900hrs on July 16, 2013, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office was notified of overdue hikers up towards Independence Pass. The missing persons had reportedly set out to hike the Lost Man loop.

When they did not arrive at their pickup point, they were reported missing. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen combined efforts to assess the incident. Due to darkness, a large ground search was planned for following morning.

In the meantime, during the night, Mountain Rescue coordinated two vehicle teams that were sent out to search roads in drainages commonly mistaken for the correct route. At approximately midnight, the six missing persons were found unharmed with their two dogs in the South Fork Drainage near the Fryingpan River.

Mountain Rescue Aspen and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all hikers and back country travelers to prepare for unplanned events. When traveling in the backcountry always carry extra water, food and clothing, know your route, carry a map and ensure that someone knows your exact travel plans.

Mountain Rescue Aspen is an all volunteer rescue team funded through grants and donations. To ensure that Mountain Rescue can be reimbursed for mission expenses they encourage everyone to purchase a CORSAR card. They are available at the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office or online at Cards are $3 for a one year card or $12 for five years.

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