The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office has released more details about the Denver man that spent two night’s in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area this week.
Neil Brosseau reportedly told rescuers that he separated from his hiking group because he decided to summit Pyramid Peak on his own while the rest of his party went back down the mountain. That was 2 o’clock Sunday; Brosseau would spend the next two and a half days alone.
Brosseau said he realized he went the wrong way on the way down Pyramid Peak and got “Completely turned around.” From that point, he focused on descending the mountain as quickly as he could — mostly sliding on his backside. His first night was spent on a ledge, the second night he was able to use a tree for shelter. Brosseau had only a T-shirt and parka to keep himself warm at night.
Upon reaching the valley floor, not realizing he was in the wrong valley, he turned right and headed up East Maroon Creek, finally encountering a group of hunters who walked with Brosseau until crossing paths with Mountain Rescue search team members around 3:45 yesterday.
Brosseau sustained only minor scratches and bruises, none of them life-threatening, during his time in the wilderness.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office reiterated thanks to the many public safety agencies who helped with the search. They also credited the hunters he encountered with helping get him out of the back country safely.
The Sheriff’s Office also used the updated Press Release as an opportunity to remind everyone the importance of staying with your climbing and hiking party, whether you’re climbing a fourteener or not. They say voluntary separation frequently leads to the need for back country rescues.