Spot locator activated close to Maroon Pass, initiates rescue

Flown to Aspen hospital

By Alissa Johnson

A spot locator turned on near Maroon Pass activated Crested Butte Search and Rescue on Saturday, August 29, ultimately leading to the rescue of an individual by helicopter for unknown injuries.

According to Marjorie Trautman, spokesperson for the Mt. Crested Butte Police Department, the department was notified of the emergency by Gunnison Communications, which is the 911 dispatch and received the notification that a spot locator had been activated from International Emergency Response.

Very little information about the emergency was available. “Spot locater systems are designed with the ability to send brief information such as a party’s location and ‘all okay’ message, a location and non-emergency notification and location with emergency 911 message,” Trautman explained.

After meeting with search and rescue members, Trautman says it was determined that the hike to the location near Maroon Pass would take three hours. “At this time, the exact emergency and condition of the party was unclear because the only communication received was the spot locator emergency notification. A helicopter from St. Mary’s was asked [by the Mt. Crested Butte Police Officer] to fly over of the area,” Trautman said.

The helicopter located the party, which signaled to the helicopter from the ground.

“Due to the elevation, the helicopter needed to drop a crew member off prior to landing. Shortly after, the party was picked up and delivered to an Aspen area hospital,” Trautman said.

At that point, search and rescue was notified to turn around. Neither Crested Butte Search and Rescue nor the Mt. Crested Butte Police Department could provide details on the injuries or circumstances of the S.O.S.

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