A hiker who went up the Ute Trail but felt she could not descend due to icy conditions was rescued on Tuesday, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
After the sheriff’s office received the distress call at approximately 3:10 p.m., volunteers from Mountain Rescue Aspen deployed to the scene and assisted the hiker to the bottom of the trail.
The Ute Trail is a popular hiking trail — though seldom traveled in winter — which begins on the east end of the city of Aspen and continues up Aspen Mountain. Alltrails.com rates this hike as difficult; and other websites indicate that this hike is technical and identify many hazards which may be present on the trail.
“The hiker reported to the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center that she had hiked up the Ute Trail but due to the icy conditions, steep slope, and narrow trail she felt she could not safely descend the trail,” says the press release. “Mountain Rescue Aspen personnel responded to the scene and two rescuers began hiking up the trail at approximately 3:58 p.m. A second team of rescuers began hiking from the trailhead at approximately 4:12 p.m.”
Rescuers reached the hiker at 4:21 p.m. The rescuers, with the hiker, reached the trailhead safely at 5:07 p.m. In total, seven Mountain Rescue Aspen rescuers responded to assist the hiker.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to remind all hikers to be aware of and stay within their own abilities while enjoying the outdoors; and also to be prepared with the proper equipment for changing conditions.