Two skiers were rescued from an out-of-bounds area near Walsh’s run on Aspen Mountain Tuesday Night.
Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol received a call from a skier around 6 p.m. who said that she and a friend were lost somewhere near Walsh’s run on Aspen Mountain, according to a press release from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. Ski patrol began a search for the skiers and determined they had likely gone out of bounds. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office was requested to assist in rescuing the two skiers.
According to the release, the sheriff’s office was able to make contact with the skiers around 7 p.m. and determined they were roughly 1,300 feet below the ski area boundary and 600 feet above the valley floor. They were instructed to continue moving downhill through a drainage below Walsh’s. Around two hours later, just before 9 p.m. the skiers reported that hey had only moved 500 feet further downhill and that one member of the group was exhausted. They also reported that the terrain was nearly impassable due to steepness and debris.
Four members of Mountain Rescue Aspen entered the field around 9:10 p.m. to begin searching for the two skiers. They were located around 9:40 p.m. roughly 200 feet above the valley floor. Neither skier was injured and MRA skied with the skiers downhill toward the North Star nature preserve. The rescuers and the skiers skied with headlamps and had to pick their way through steep terrain, slide paths, rocks and downed trees. All members of MRA were out of the field by 11:15 p.m. The skiers’ names were not released.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to remind skiers and snowboarders that venturing beyond ski area boundaries in unfamiliar terrain can lead to injury or death. According the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, avalanche conditions near and below treeline were “moderate” during the time of Tuesday’s rescue. Regarding “moderate” avalanche conditions, moderate avalanche conditions means there are heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features, and users should evaluate snow and terrain carefully.