Arapahoe Basin ski patroller missing in Switzerland
Harrison Fast’s family has launched a YouCaring site to raise money for their search. Go to youcaring.com/Harrison-fast-546235.
EAGLE COUNTY — Harrison Fast’s family and friends know that where adventure is, there Harrison must be.
Fast, a local para-sailer and speed flyer, has been missing since midday Saturday when he and some friends were speed flying on Switzerland’s Jungfrau mountain — pronounced “Young Frau,” a 11,333-foot peak.
Speed flying involves flying a small fabric wing down a steep slope at speeds of up to 75 mph.
Bad weather rolled in and not all were able to land in the designated landing zone.
At about 5 p.m. on the day Harrison went missing, rescue helicopters located some of his crew, but not him. Late that afternoon, a storm moved in to blanket the areas in new snow.
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Whatever it takes
Suzanne Fast, Harrison’s sister, said the family doesn’t know how much search helicopters cost, but they’re willing to pay it.
Family members are on their way to Switzerland and are raising money to charter private helicopters.
They’re not waiting until they arrive to continue their search.
“Tuesday looks like it’s going to be the best day to fly,” Suzanne Fast said.
Swiss authorities called off the search after three days — Sunday was a complete whiteout and helicopters couldn’t fly, although ground crews kept looking Saturday and Sunday.
However, Fast’s family and friends will keep going, said his sister, a teacher at June Creek Elementary School in Edwards.
Exact details are still emerging. They do know that a few from the group were able to ski/hike out, while two others were rescued by helicopter as Saturday’s storm worsened, Suzanne said.
Harrison was not among those rescued.
In 2012, British adventurer Dan Hunt was doing the same thing in the same area when he went missing. Swiss authorities also called off his search after three days, but he was found on the fourth by family and friends who kept looking. He was battered and bruised, but alive.
He counseled perseverance.
“Courage Harrison, family and everyone involved!” Hunt said.
He was found in a canyon where he had been trapped for 68 hours.
The family is raising money to help offset the costs of helicopters and search crews.
“This is a large search area, and this fundraiser is to ensure we have the funds to search using every resource and bring Harry home safe,” Suzanne said.
Harrison splits his time between Boulder and the High Country. He’s a ski patroller at Arapahoe Basin.
Suzanne Fast said her parents learned their son was missing when police came to their door on Sunday, said they were working with Interpol and explained what happened.
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