Crews resume search for missing hiker on Pyramid Peak; helicopter, drone utilized Tuesday | PostIndependent.com

Crews resume search for missing hiker on Pyramid Peak; helicopter, drone utilized Tuesday

Neil Brosseau, 66, of Denver has been missing since Sunday after hiking 14er near Aspen

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times
Neil Brosseau, front, of Denver has been missing on Pyramid Peak since 2 p.m. Sunday. The search continued Tuesday on the peak near Aspen.
Courtesy photo

Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteers headed back out to Pyramid Peak via a helicopter early Tuesday morning to continue searching for Neil James Brosseau of Denver who has been missing since Sunday afternoon, an official said.

In an update sent Tuesday afternoon by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Brosseau, 66, was identified as the man who has been missing for nearly 48 hours.

“Despite the number of resources involved in the search, Brosseau has not been located as of 12:30 (p.m.)” the update said.

A medical helicopter out of Grand Junction ferried the MRA searchers to a spot near the amphitheater below Pyramid’s north face about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, Alex Burchetta, director of operations for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, said Tuesday morning.

Brosseau, who became separated from three others in his party as they descended the mountain Sunday afternoon, was last seen at about 13,000 feet at the top of the saddle that leads to the northeast summit ridge, Burchetta said.

Officials also will use a drone Tuesday to target specific areas of the mountain in the search for the man, Burchetta said. 

Brosseau was first reported missing late Sunday afternoon or early evening, though MRA volunteers did not head into the field until Monday morning, Burchetta said. MRA and the Sheriff’s Office do not undertake nighttime missions unless there’s a confirmed need, such as an injury, he said.

No one has seen Brosseau, said to be an experienced climber, since about 2 p.m. Sunday. He is described as 5-feet-10-inches tall, about 165 to 170 pounds with blue eyes and blond hair.

Pyramid Peak is about 12 miles southwest of Aspen.

The Pyramid Peak trail on the northeast ridge is about 8 miles round trip from the trailhead at Maroon Lake, according to website 14ers.com. The last 1,000 feet to the summit requires “Class 3 and 4 climbing and careful route-finding,” according to the website, and the “remaining 500 feet to the summit is complex.”

Voluntary separation among climbing parties is the leading cause of MRA-led searches in the backcountry, Burchetta said.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Brosseau, they are asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at tips@pitkinsheriff.com or call 970-920-5310.

This is a developing story that will be updated.


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