Pitkin County authorities suspend search for missing climber | PostIndependent.com

Pitkin County authorities suspend search for missing climber

Authorities have suspended the search for a New Mexico man who went missing in the Maroon-Bells Snowmass Wilderness area.

“After eight days of searching for missing Albuquerque climber David Cook with no results, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office is suspending the search,” according to a statement issued at 4:17 p.m. Thursday.

Cook, 49, is described as a white male approximately 5 feet, 10 inches and weighing 175 pounds. He has short brown/grey hair and light eyes. He was last seen wearing an earth-tone colored shirt, a blue jacket, a black backpack and khaki pants. Cook reportedly was carrying a blue climbing helmet and is described by his friends and family as friendly and outgoing, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The incident management team conducted multiple ground and air searches over the eight days following Mr. Cook’s disappearance. Cook was reported missing to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 20 after not returning from a climb in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area.

During the investigation by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, deputies learned that Cook had arrived at the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area shortly after 11 a.m. on Sept. 19. Deputies learned that Cook had been seen on Monday hiking near the trail to Maroon Peak. Additionally, Cook’s cellphone pinged cell towers in Aspen and Gunnison County later on Sept. 19.

Cook was also reported to have been seen the morning of Sept. 20 by a United States Forest Service employee near Maroon Lake, That was the last confirmed sighting of Cook.

The decision to suspend the search operations was a joint decision made by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and rescue personnel. This decision was made after reviewing all search operations to date, current leads and information obtained from the public. If new information is presented in the future, search operations may resume, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Participating in the search were Mountain Rescue Aspen, Flight For Life, Careflight, Alpine Search and Rescue, Summit County, Rocky Mountain Rescue, Vail Search and Rescue, Garfield County Search and Rescue, Gunnison County Search and Rescue and the United States Forest Service.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office requests that anyone sees or believes they have seen Cook to call 970-920-5300.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User