Two women stranded on separate sections of North Maroon Peak were brought to safety Monday night by Mountain Rescue Aspen climbers and a Black Hawk helicopter.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement at 11:53 p.m. Monday saying that authorities received a call at approximately 5 p.m. from climber Jennifer Kellogg, of St. Joseph, Missouri.
Kellogg reported that she was below the summit of North Maroon Peak on the west side of the mountain and that her daughter, Alexandra, 21, also of St. Joseph, had lost her way down from North Maroon Peak.
“Jennifer Kellogg lost sight of Alexandra, but could hear her say ‘I can’t hold on much longer,’” the statement says.
The mother was able to ascend below the summit of North Maroon Peak until she could find a cellphone signal and call 911.
Twenty-one members of Mountain Rescue Aspen went to the scene, with five of them heading to the peak in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that had been dispatched from the National Guard’s High-Altitude Aviation Training Site in Gypsum.
One rescue-team climber reached Alexandra Kellogg, who was uninjured, at a rock formation called the “Gun Site.” The rescue-team climber assisted her in climbing down to an area known as the “rock glacier,” where they were both picked up by the helicopter.
Four rescue-team climbers also climbed down from the peak of North Maroon and located Jennifer Kellogg, who had become stranded on a rocky ledge in the Lost Remuda Basin, which is on the west side of the peak.
“With the use of a climbing harness and headlamps, the four [rescue-team] climbers were able to evacuate Jennifer Kellogg using a climbing technique called a ‘mechanical uphaul’ back to the west ridge just below the summit of North Maroon, where the group was then picked up in the darkness by the hovering UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and flown to safety,” the statement said.“All Mountain Rescue Aspen members were out of the field by 10:30 p.m.”
North Maroon Peak is a 14,014-foot peak located in the Elk Mountains approximately 12 miles southwest of Aspen.