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Mountain Rescue Aspen Conducts 2 Simultaneous Rescue Missions

PITKIN COUNTY, CO – On June 10, Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) successfully carried out two simultaneous rescue operations. Both incidents involved hikers injured on steep trails within the county, highlighting the importance of caution and preparation when adventuring in the backcountry.

The first call came at approximately 12:24 PM from a hiker on a local trail near the Arbaney Kittle trailhead. The caller reported that their hiking partner had taken a fall, possibly breaking their tibia, on a steep, undefined trail off the main path. MRA quickly mobilized fourteen of their team members, who made contact with the injured hiker by 1:31 PM. The MRA team safely extricated the injured party from the trail, delivering them to the trailhead by 3:01 PM for transportation to a local hospital.

Almost concurrently, the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center (PCREDC) received a second call at 11:48 AM regarding an injury on the Snowmass Creek Trail within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The hiker had been injured when the trail unexpectedly gave way, causing a slide of approximately 50 yards down the hillside. A dozen MRA volunteers quickly assembled and were in the field by 12:20 PM. The injured hiker was reached by 1:11 PM and safely transported to Aspen Valley Hospital for further medical treatment.

In light of these two events, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and MRA have reiterated the potential dangers of backcountry exploration, especially on trails off the main path or in steep and potentially unstable areas. These incidents underscore the importance of several key safety tips:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and personal limitations.
  • Keep in mind that alternate routes from main trails can often be more hazardous, including steeper grades and slippery slopes.
  • Always be prepared for the unexpected when traveling through the backcountry.
  • If possible, hike with a partner and inform others of your hiking plans before you depart.

The swift and efficient response from MRA in both of these cases underlines the critical role of mountain rescue services in ensuring the safety of our outdoor enthusiasts. It is a reminder for all hikers to respect the inherent dangers of wilderness hiking and prioritize safety at all times.

Mountain Rescue Aspen is a 100% volunteer group of first responders but their rescue services are always completely free. They rely on donations to support their work. Learn more or donate here.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

Learn more about how we protect public lands and prevent SAR calls through education & advocacy.

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