Search Continues Near Echo Lake For Hikers From Minnesota
IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The search for a father and son who went hiking and are now missing near Echo Lake in Clear Creek County resumed Monday morning.
Evan McManus, 18, and his father Damian McManus 51, are from St. Louis Park in the Minneapolis metro area. They were last seen last Wednesday morning in a Lakewood Denny’s restaurant.
Family spokeswoman Andrea Bouzrara says the pair drove to Colorado for a trip while the mother and daughter were on a trip to Mexico. Evan McManus’ girlfriend texted his mother saying she hadn’t heard from him since last Wednesday.
Authorities said an alpine rescue team was paged at about 3 p.m. Sunday on a report of two missing and overdue hikers. Authorities have been searching for them in an area of Echo Lake on the north shoulder of Mount Evans, which has an elevation of more than 10,000 feet.
Friends of the pair in Minnesota say they weren’t really sure where they were going, so when the father and son were finally reported missing on Sunday, Clear Creek County deputies had to scour the entire county and every single trailhead for their car.
“Just a few days before the trip they decided they would head west and just kind of take it where the road led them,” Bouzrara said.
Efforts to contact the two men have been unsuccessful because of poor cellphone reception in the area. Wintry weather has also hindered the search.
“We don’t know where they might have gone, we don’t know the direction they traveled, we don’t know what kind of equipment they might have,” a searcher said.
A Black Hawk helicopter from Buckley Air Force Base was helping out when weather allowed on Monday. It dropped off a rescuer who had ventured high above the tree line toward Mount Evans.
“We were able to put people up higher on the mountain and kind of put a spotter up to look and see if there was any kind of sign that there were people further up the mountain,” a searcher said. “It has snowed every day here since they got here. The idea of perhaps tracking someone is impossible.”
The mother and daughter arrived in Colorado Monday afternoon with friends. They are holding out hope because Damian McManus has British military training.
“We’re still treating it as a search and rescue. We have nothing else to go on … they may very well be hunkered down somewhere,” the searcher said.
The weather is supposed to improve over the week but warmer weather means the danger of wet-slide avalanches increases which would make it harder for searchers.