Hunter dies west of Aspen after traversing ridge near Williams Lake
The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Stephen James McGinnis of Princeton, Minnesota. He was 56. The cause and manner of McGinnis’ death is pending autopsy results, a release from the coroner’s office stated.
A 56-year-old man hunting near Williams Lake west of Aspen died Friday night after hiking along a ridge in a remote area of Pitkin County, officials said Saturday morning.
Emergency officials received a notification at 6:41 p.m. of hunters in distress in unincorporated Pitkin County about 8 miles west of Aspen, according to a news release Saturday morning from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
The man, whose name and hometown have not been released, was hiking about three-quarters of a mile from Williams Lake and “collapsed while traversing across a ridge line near 11,000 feet in elevation,” officials said.
CPR instructions were given by the county’s dispatch center, a helicopter was deployed from Care Flight in Rifle and volunteer crews from Mountain Rescue Aspen mobilized.
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Because of the remote area, the helicopter circled the area but could not find a suitable land zone, according to the news release. CPR efforts continued but were stopped after nearly an hour following direction from emergency officials.
Foot teams made contact with the man at about 9:30 a.m. and the helicopter eventually located a safe landing zone nearby. The helicopter transported the victim from the scene and MRA accompanied the remaining party members from the area and were safely out of the field around 12:20 p.m. The man’s name, hometown and cause of death will be released by the coroner’s office.
Williams Lake is roughly midway between Mount Sopris and Capitol Peak in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area. The lake is about 2 miles from the Hell Roaring trailhead on Capitol Creek Road.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
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