Eagle County Sheriff’s Office may have located the human remains of James Nelson at a remote campsite near Holy Cross City, an old mining community ghost town.
Nelson’s journal indicates that he may have been experiencing altitude sickness, something that can be unpredictable, affecting even very experienced mountaineers. However, folks coming to Colorado from lower elevations are more more susceptible.
You may read in other articles that some of his gear is missing, including his gps, camp stove, and his camera. Some comments I’ve read at other sites draw the conclusion that there must be more to the story, and insinuate foul play. However there are a couple more likely scenarios. Two winters of snowpack building and melting over the site will move gear all over the place (see photo below). My guess, and hope, is that some of these items might be found. Another likely scenario is that some hiker saw an abandoned campsite, didn’t know that a hiker went missing in the area, and pocketed the more valuable items.
Our condolences go out to the Nelson family and James’ fiancé. Everything I’ve read about James is that he was an honorable and loving man who had a passion for the wilderness.
James Nelson's Campsite - Eagle County Sheriff's Office
ORIGINAL POST – Why Can’t They Find Missing Hiker James Nelson? – Oct. 23rd 2010
Search and Rescue had spent over 1000 man hours in four days scouring the Holy Cross Wilderness before they called off the search for missing hiker, James Nelson. As I write this, it has been twenty-one days since Nelson struck out on the trail on Oct. 3rd. A few volunteers have been looking for him still, but no one has found a trace of him. Why? Why can’t they find James Nelson?
Some Possible Reasons Why:
A Bermuda Triangle in Colorado? -
The Holy Cross Wilderness has its host of strange and mysterious stories about people vanishing within its nearly 200 square miles of rugged landscape. It has even been termed the “Holy Cross Triangle.” The most perplexing account is that of Michelle Vanek, a 35 year old triathelete and mother of 4 who decided to climb Mt. of the Holy Cross in September of 2005. Just 400 feet below the summit, Vanek became exhausted and sat down. She and her hiking partner made plans to meet back at the main trail for the hike down, then her partner pushed on to the summit. After summiting, he hiked back down to their rendezvous point, but Vanek never showed. That began the largest search and rescue operation in Colorado history. Read More
Lost in the woods for 3.5 days because of bad directions. That’s how The Glenwood Springs Post Independent explained the plight of a physicist turned lost hiker over the first weekend in August. But the story reveals that there was a lot more going on than just bad directions. Let’s stop and take a better look at what the 50 year old Physicist did wrong and what he did right.
What He Did Wrong:
- He bit off way more than he could chew. It looks like the was attempting a self-made, 25+ mile loop in just 14hrs! I don’t care if you have good directions. When you make a plan like that, you obviously are not taking into account many things, especially weather.
- He planned on hiking out in the night. Read More
A woman became separated from her party near Leadville, Colorado this week. She spent all night in the woods on Mount Massive while maintaining contact with Lake County emergency dispatchers on her cell phone. The Fort Lewis based Special Operations Aviation Crew were in the Mt. Massive area to recover the wreckage of the Black Hawk helicopter that went down in August of 2009. The 50 year old hiker was recovered on July 29th, 2010 by the crew using a basket system on the helicopter.
As the hiking with or without a cell phone debate continues, this story provides a solid vote for the “bring your cell phone” side.
Do you carry your cell phone? Leave it at home?