This photo of Snowmass Village is courtesy of TripAdvisor
What started as a long leisurely recovery day, suddenly at day's end evolved into our worst nightmare!
I spent the day drying out, washing clothes, and enjoying Snowmass Village. The only physical activity involved a walk to the village market for a salad at noon--a very short walk down and back up---for I rode the gondola for the major part of the trip.
I strolled back to the pub and enjoyed bison nachos with their feeble attempt at peppers and another conversation with the man in the skirt. It turns out that he works 3-4 days a week to enjoy his other days of hiking, fishing, and enjoying the beautiful Rockies. He does not like the summers (they call this summer---I explained about our summers), but lives for the winter months and snow activities. I slowly stroll back to my room and had just begun to settle in with a good book, when I receive a text from Cindy. They are headed back (a day early) and was Jim with me? WHAT---I have not seen or heard from anyone---Where is Jim? When they finally arrive, the story begins to unfold. Jim had struggled going up their first pass the day before, only a couple of hours after they left me. When he tells Sonja that his stomach is bothering him, she quickly realizes that he is again dealing with altitude sickness. She makes him promise that he will turn around and head back down behind me--telling him the only cure is to get down the mountain. They continue on, but he has promised he will follow me. Twenty four hours after he should have been here--Jim IS MISSING!
This leads to a call to the police, who then tell Sam to call Mountain Rescue. Jim has the keys to the car--fortunately the girls came across some local hikers after they decided they should hike out early to check on Jim--who not only carry Sonja's pack the last few miles, but also give them a ride back to the hotel. The problem is that we have no idea if he continued the hike or came back down the mountain. He passed out twice the first day---could he have done so again and went over the side of the mountain? It is all totally up in the air. After long hours on the phone with mountain rescue and Jim's wife--who must be told, we put our heads down and try to sleep not knowing where Jim is. None of us EVER dreamed anything like this would ever happen. You spend a great deal of your time being cautious knowing that a fall or injury will be disastrous in the middle of the wilderness. Jim has promised he would turn back---BUT Jim is a man--they have a difficult time swallowing their pride----I am a woman and I can tell you it stuck right in the middle of my throat. Sometimes good sense just does not grease those pipes enough to get it down.
Mountain Rescue has a plan--that will begin tomorrow---all we can do is wait and pray!
Pictures of what I missed:
Frigid Air Pass
|Rock Slide on the right---had to cross MANY of those!|