Aspen summer rescue calls double |

Aspen summer rescue calls double

ASPEN – An Aspen search-and-rescue unit has had twice as many calls this summer as it did during the same period last year, but the reasons aren’t clear.

Hugh Zuker, president of the all-volunteer Mountain Rescue Aspen, says the group has gone on about 17 missions since the June 20-21 weekend.

Zuker says that doesn’t include rescues carried out by swiftwater teams or Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies who didn’t call on Mountain Rescue Aspen for help.

Sheriff Bob Braudis says the increase may be in part caused by more people taking advantage of free, close-to-home outdoor recreation because of the recession.

Mountain Rescue Aspen has about 50 volunteers who handle rescues as well as administrative work. The group is funded by donations and grants.

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