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Missing skiers found safe and sound

ASPEN ” Two backcountry skiers who spent the night outdoors in the mountains south of Aspen are safe and sound.

The duo came down off Richmond Ridge and made their way to Highway 82 at Difficult Campground, southeast of Aspen, shortly before 2 p.m. Monday.

Zeke Tiernan and Sean Sheehan, both Aspen-area residents, managed to build a fire and take shelter beneath trees to survive Sunday night outdoors in a snowstorm. They were camped out on Richmond Ridge, which extends south off the summit of Aspen Mountain, separating the Castle Creek and Roaring Fork River drainages.



Clear skies on Monday allowed them to exit the backcountry safely.

The two men headed up Express Creek Road in the Castle Creek Valley, south of Aspen, on Sunday morning, headed for Richmond Ridge, where they intended to head north toward the summit of Aspen Mountain and then ski down the front side to town. They were reported missing when they failed to return.



The pair apparently made it as far as the Barnard Hut on Richmond Ridge, where they stopped for a rest and made contact with others at the hut before departing at about 2:15 p.m. Sunday with a new plan ‹ to retrace their route back to their vehicle at Ashcroft, according to authorities. Mountain Rescue Aspen members initially concentrated their search on the Castle Creek side of the ridge as a result.


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