Tourist goes missing near Buena Vista, likely was climbing 14er -- Mount Harvard

CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. - Specially-trained dogs, horseback teams, helicopters and searchers from seven counties or areas have joined the search for a man from Ohio who is likely missing on a 14er.

Gene George, 64, called a friend from his motel in Buena Vista on September 18 and said he planned to hike Mount Harvard on Thursday or Friday, according to the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said on Sunday, when George didn't check out as scheduled, the motel owner called police.

Authorities found George's car parked at the North Cottonwood Creek trailhead, the trailhead for Harvard.

"A search mission was launched that same afternoon and continued the following day," according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office.

Tuesday, search teams from Summit, Eagle, Gunnison, Pitkin, and Teller, as well as from the Evergreen-based Alpine Rescue Team arrived to assist Chaffee County search and rescue teams. 

In addition to the hikers, four search dogs, two horseback teams and two helicopters are helping in the mission.

George is described as a white man with brown hair and blue eyes. He is approximately 5'6" tall and weighs about 135 pounds. 

He is thought to be wearing a dark blue jacket and dark blue hiking pants, possibly with a gray rain suit.  He may be carrying a faded green backpack, deputies said.

Mount Harvard is a 14er -- a peak over 14,000-feet high. Many climbers hike Mount Harvard (14,420 feet) and Mount Columbia (14,073 feet) on the same hike.

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