Hiker dies on Thomas Lakes Trail outside of Carbondale

Unidentified 35-year-old man died while hiking Thomas Lakes Trail.

A Flight For Life helicopter hovers over Loveland Ski Area during a demonstration. The organization sent a helicopter to help a man, who later died Aug. 12, hiking the Thomas Lakes Trail outside of Carbondale.
Liz Copan/For the Summit Daily News

A 35-year-old man died Aug. 12 after passing out while hiking the Thomas Lakes Trail with his girlfriend, who tried to resuscitate him with instructions from Pitkin County dispatchers.

The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office is investigating the death of the unidentified man and will release his name after notifications of family, according to a release from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Thomas Lakes Trail is a 7.8-mile out-and-back trail just outside of Carbondale. The trail is popular with hikers looking for a relatively easy day-hike and backpackers seeking to summit Mt. Sopris.

The emergency response began with a phone call from the girlfriend on the trail at 11:52 a.m. to the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center.

Pitkin County deputies made contact with her via cell phone and learned the man was unconscious, his lips were blue and his breathing was shallow. Resuscitation efforts were advised and instructed. Dispatch was able to get coordinates from the location of the cell phone where the call was placed. Deputies immediately requested the assistance of the all-volunteer group, Mountain Rescue Aspen, as well as a Flight For Life helicopter.

The helicopter went airborne at 12:20 p.m., and at 12:25 p.m. members of the rescue group, as well as a county backcountry community response officer, were deployed.

The helicopter pilot reached the man and his girlfriend at 1:04 p.m., and he was pronounced dead at 1:20 p.m.

All rescue officials were out of the field by 4 p.m.

Law enforcement officers say the man may have experienced a cardiac event.

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