Mountain Rescue

Earlier this month, Joe Seeds was rescued by a Blackhawk helicopter and a Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) team. He had lost his way on Capitol Peak. Seeds was back in the valley yesterday to pick up his pack and campsite from Capitol Lake and stopped by the studio to talk with reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

There have been eight backcountry deaths in Pitkin County so far this summer, and Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) is taking stock. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy attended a meeting last week where the all-volunteer team discussed the need for more summer backcountry education.

During a busy — and deadly — summer season, officials with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs are reminding hikers and climbers to pitch in for rescue costs.

A 57-year-old woman from the Front Range fell to her death on the north face of North Maroon Peak over the weekend.

Mountain Rescue Aspen

  Three snowmobilers survived a night in the White River National Forest by building a snow cave.

The man found unconscious by a hiker near the top of Mt. Sopris has been identified as 73-year-old Robert Baumgartner of Boulder.

Today on CrossCurrents, David Swersky and Jeff Edelson from Mountain Rescue-Aspen on the history of the organization and the new building opening this weekend.

About Mountain Rescue-Aspen:

Mountain Rescue-Aspen was incorporated in 1965 as a non-profit organization and is one of the oldest search and rescue teams in the state. We are accredited through the Rocky Mountain Region of the Mountain Rescue Association and work as a volunteer arm of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s office; providing search and rescue services for Pitkin County and mutual aid for other counties in Colorado.

Our dedicated 50-member team annually donates thousands upon thousands of person-hours serving Pitkin County’s community and visitors. These hours represent time away from families to attend meetings and trainings; educate the public with our annual community avalanche seminar; teach children what to do if they are lost through the national “Hug-A-Tree” program, and of course, engage in search and rescue missions.

Unlike other emergency response agencies such as Police or Ambulance, or even Volunteer Fire, there is no tax base or public budget for Mountain Rescue. We are 100% unpaid volunteers who raise the funding we need each year through the solicitation of public donations and applications for local and state grants.