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Four people airlifted to safety after spending night stranded on Maroon Peak

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Posted at 12:57 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-27 14:57:49-04

PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — Four people were rescued from one of Colorado’s most iconic mountains early Thursday morning.

Late on Wednesday, one person in the group contacted the Mount Crested Butte Police Department via an InReach device. Police learned that the group, which consisted of two males and two females from the Front Range, had become stuck on a cliff on the southwest side of Maroon Peak. While none of them were injured, they were out of water, tired and sore.

READ MORE: These devices, apps could save your life if you face trouble in the Colorado backcountry

Around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, the police department alerted the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen to the situation.

Based on the information authorities gathered from the group, they decided to assemble a team to head out Thursday.

Around 7:40 a.m. Thursday, a helicopter left Aspen/Pitkin County Airport with two Mountain Rescue Aspen members aboard who were experts in hoist rescues. In addition, four Mountain Rescue Aspen members started working toward the group on foot to help the helicopter land. In total, 19 volunteers with the rescue team were involved.

By 8:45 a.m., all members of the stranded group had been rescued and were down at the Maroon Bells parking lot.

At 14,156 feet, Maroon Peak is one of the most challenging 14ers to summit in Colorado. Thanks to avalanche damage this past winter, conditions may make the trail even more difficult to navigate.

Mountain Rescue Aspen and the sheriff’s office are reminding visitors about the dangers of venturing into the back country and importance of preparation beforehand. While summer has officially began, many of the state’s highest peaks are still covered in snow and ice and can be treacherous.