Mountain Rescue Aspen

Capitol Peak and The Knife Edge – Elk Mountain Range 1981-1982

I volunteered for Mountain Rescue Aspen and helped with rescues – finding and retrieving injured or dead people in the backcountry. We started requesting US Army helicopters and pilots from Fort Carson in Colorado Springs to get to the accident sites. On one rescue the Huey helicopter I was in nearly crashed because the pilot wasn’t familiar with the area or techniques for flying at high elevations in mountainous terrain. It was a training exercise for the Army but it was almost a deadly accident for me and my fellow rescue volunteer on the flight.  Mountain Rescue decided that we had to do something to prevent accidents while using helicopters. We figured that an atlas of photographs of the likely accident sites and the valleys and peaks around Aspen to show to the helicopter pilots would instill respect for the difficulties of flying around Aspen and familiarize them with where we needed to go.