CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Authorities in Chaffee County are searching for a student from the University of Colorado Boulder and her father.

The two Boulder residents were supposed to return from a hiking trip last week.

Chaffee County deputies say Dr. Michael Von Gortler and his 20-year-old daughter, Makana went to climb a fourteener. They had planned to be back in Boulder last Friday.

A close friend of Makana talked with CBS4 on Wednesday and said she’s very worried. She said the two went to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and then were planning to go on a hike at the Missouri Gulch Trail, which would include summiting the 14,067-foot Missouri Mountain.

“Makana and her father were planning for this trip three weeks ahead of time, making sure they had all the right equipment, all the food they needed,” her friend Chelsea Thomas told CBS4.

hikers Father, Daughter Go Missing In Chaffee County

Makana von Gortler and Dr. Michael Von Gortler (credit: CBS)

Deputies initiated a search when no one had heard from them by Monday.

Search and rescue dogs picked up a scent during Wednesday’s search effort but they had to turn back when it got dark.

The Colorado Army National Guard is assisting with the search.

The two had already done a hike in the Missouri Gulch area. Thomas told CBS4 Makana and her father are both very experienced hikers.

A relative told CBS4 Gortler is a travelling ER physician. Makana is studying to be a nurse at CU.


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