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Wednesday
Mar302011

Weather Hampers Search for Four Missing Skiers

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock (file)(ASPEN, Colo.) -- Mountain rescue teams are battling poor weather conditions as they resume the search for four skiers overdue from a trip into the backcountry near Aspen, Colo.

"Right now it's snowing a lot, so there are no tracks to follow," said Pitkin County Sheriff's deputy Adam Crider.

The weather is also making it impossible for helicopters to search from the air.

The four skiers were scheduled to stay at a remote mountain cabin called the Goodwin Green Hut roughly 11 miles south of Aspen beginning on Saturday March 26. They booked the cabin for the nights of March 26, 27 and 28, but had apparently told friends they would leave the backcountry on March 28. When heavy snowfall hit the area, friends assumed the skiers would simply stay at the cabin Monday night and return Tuesday.

When they failed to return, a search was launched by the Pitkin County Sheriff's office and members of Mountain Rescue Aspen. Sheriff's deputies located the skiers' car at a parking area Monday night and left a note asking them to call police once they reached cell phone range.

Search teams on snowmobiles reached the Goodwin Green Hut on Tuesday and said the four were not there. Officials are confident the skiers had been at the hut at some point over the last few days. Crider said that per backcountry protocol, the skiers printed out their reservation receipt and hung it on the wall of the cabin when they arrived. Where they are now, however, is a mystery.

Crider said the missing skiers are experienced and have made this trip before.

Officials have not released their names.

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ABC News Radio