Pitkin County, Colorado, August 20,2011 – Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness- On August, 20th, 2011 at approximately 100AM, a 51year-old male was awoken from sleep when a bear ripped into his tent. The unprovoked attack occurred in a backcountry campsite in the Minnehaha Gulch area above Crater Lake, approximately 14 miles southwest of Aspen. The front-range man, one member in a climbing group of 3, was staged to climb North Maroon later in the morning.
After the bear made entry into the tent, it repeatedly bit the man in his lower leg, through his sleeping bag. He was able to fight the bear off and call to the other nearby membersof the group for help. The bear lingeredaround the campsite after the attack, despite many efforts to scare it away.
Using first aid supplies on-hand, the bleeding was controlled and the group began a slow descent back to the trailhead at Maroon Lake. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department was first notified of a problem by an emergency transmission originating from apersonal GPS transmitter. Members of Mountain Rescue Aspen immediately deployed into the field, meeting the injured man along the trail and escorting him back to the trailhead. He was able to walk out under his own power, and was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital where he is awaiting surgery for his injuries.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife and United States Forest Service are handling the ongoing investigation, and were notified immediately.
Deputy Levi Borst #80
Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department
506 E Main St STE 101
For Further Information, Please Contact:
Colorado Division of Wildlife