A personal emergency locator accidentally set off by its owner on the backside of Aspen Mountain on Monday had a rescue team scrambling for about three hours in an effort to find the individual, who turned out to be safe.
Mountain Rescue Aspen members located the group of four people shortly after 2 p.m. They were hanging out at the lunch cabin used for Aspen Skiing Co.’s backcountry powder tours near Richmond Ridge Road, about two miles south from the Sundeck on top of Ajax.
At 10:46 a.m., the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office was notified that a personal emergency locator beacon had been activated. The sheriff’s office was notified by the beacon monitoring company, Geos-International Emergency Response Coordination Center.
The beacon transmitted the party’s latitude and longitude, which hadn’t changed during the event, sparking concern that the party was possibly injured.
“Our concern was that the coordinates had not moved,” said sheriff’s deputy George Kremer.
MRA responded up the front of Aspen Mountain via all-terrain vehicles and eventually found the group uninjured.
Law enforcement and rescue personnel remind all users of personal locator devices to safely utilize and monitor them to ensure an accidental activation does not occur. They additionally ask that that all users review their user manual and understand each function.