Pitkin County Search

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jimmnn

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ASPEN, Colo. -- A woman from Carbondale and three 9-year-old boys were missing near Independence Pass as a storm expected to dump several inches of snow moved into the area Tuesday morning.

Pitkin County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Lemke said the four were on Lost Man Loop Trail, west of the pass, and were expected back at around 3 p.m. and but hadn't returned late Monday. A parent notified authorities just before 6 p.m.

While rescuers didn't find the stormy weather difficult, Lemke said they were concerned for the comfort of the group lost in the cold, dark wilderness. It was unclear if the group was properly dressed or equipped to spend the night in stormy conditions.

"They're young children, and they're likely to be scared," he said. "The parents are obviously extremely concerned for the children."

The woman was with her 9-year-old daughter, and a male and female friend of the daughter -- both 9 years old.

The 8.8-mile Lost Man has two trailheads several miles west of Independence Pass and multiple forks that provide several avenues that the group may have followed, Lemke said.

Just before midnight, crews were focusing efforts with the search dog along the Midway Trail, which can be accessed from the Lost Man Campground, according to the Aspen Times.

Search teams followed what they believed to be tracks made by some of the boys' hiking boots and sneakers as well as footprints from a small dog thought to be with the hikers, the newspaper reported in its online edition.
 

jimmnn

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Pitkin County U/D: Sounding like the missing group has been located and is fine, live feed avail online and beginning to discuss a press conf in Aspen for Mom after she is checked out by EMS.

Jim<
 

jimmnn

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A Carbondale woman and three children — two girls and one boy — were found safe Tuesday morning after spending the night above tree line near Independence Pass, according to authorities.

The woman left the kids under a tarp by a bush above tree line near the hiking trail to Midway Pass, a field operations manager for Mountain Rescue Aspen reported to colleagues. The woman came into contact with a rescue crew at about 10:15 a.m., according to the field operations manager. The mom reported that the children were safe but cold.

A rescue crew reported at 10:40 a.m. that it had reached the kids. The youngsters were provided with warm, dry clothes for the hike back to the lower Lost Man Trailhead.

A parent notified authorities of the missing hiking party at about 6 p.m. Monday. The hikers, whose names aren’t available yet, embarked on a mid- to late-morning hike on the 8.8-mile Lost Man Loop Monday and were expected back by mid-afternoon.

Authorities said more details would be released later Tuesday. They will be posted on The Aspen Times web site as they become available.
 
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