Rock Slide Kills Five Hikers In Colorado

By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
A rock slide on the trail to Agnes Vaille falls in the Pike and San Isabel National Forest killed five hikers.

CBS Denver

SALIDA, Colo. (AP) Five hikers were killed by a rock slide on a trail in south-central Colorado on Monday, and another was pulled out with injuries and flown to a hospital, authorities told local reporters.

The slide occurred at about 11 a.m. on the trail to Agnes Vaille falls in the Pike and San Isabel National Forest, an easy day hike about a 2 1/2 hour drive southwest of Denver.

A 13-year-old girl was extracted from the slide and flown to Children's Hospital in Denver, a spokesman for the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office, Dave Cotten said. Authorities said she had a broken leg.

The names and hometowns of the hikers haven't been released. Rescuers from at least five agencies were working at the scene Monday afternoon.

The five bodies remained on the trail. Authorities said that the terrain was unstable and that they were not certain how they would move boulders.

They noted the recent rains, but said they did not know what had caused the rock slide.

The trail is below Mount Princeton, a 14,197-foot peak. The National Forest Service describes the trail as short and relatively easy.

The trail is one of the first hikes recommended to people new to the area and is also popular with tourists, said Margaret Dean, a regular hiker who has hiked the trail with her 7-year-old grandson.

Dean, a copy assistant at The Mountain Mail newspaper in Salida, said the trail is easily accessible and provides a view of the falls and the Chalk Creek Valley in the Collegiate Peaks, which contains many mountains over 14,000-feet tall.

Agnes Vaille, the waterfall's namesake, was a Denver mountaineer who died in 1925 while attempting a difficult winter climb of Longs Peak, elevation 14,259 feet.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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