Gene George, 64, of Bay Village, Ohio, spoke to a friend in Cleveland from a Buena Vista hotel room Sept. 18, saying he planned to hike the Mount Harvard area on Thursday or Friday. A concerned hotel employee notified Buena Vista police on Sunday when George failed to check out of his hotel room.
A search began in the area Sunday afternoon after authorities discovered George's vehicle parked and locked at the North Cottonwood Creek trailhead.
Monday evening, Chaffee County undersheriff John Spezze requested help from search teams in Summit, Eagle, Gunnison, Pitkin and Teller counties. Forty hikers, four search dogs and two horseback teams are currently scouring the area. Two helicopters are expected to join the search this afternoon, said Chaffee County sheriff Pete Palmer.
"It's been cold at night, especially at altitude but survivable," Palmer said, adding that George is an experienced hiker but is not known to do overnight trips.
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It\'s been cold at night, especially at altitude but survivable, Palmer said, adding that George is an experienced hiker but is not known to do overnight trips.