CARBONDALE – Climate and energy consultant James “Randy” Udall, brother of Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall, did not emerge last week from a solo trek in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming.
A search and rescue operation is underway.
According to a report in the Aspen Daily News, Udall, 61, a Carbondale resident and an avid backpacker who has hiked in the rugged Wind Rivers many times, was expected to be out of the mountains on Wednesday, June 26.
On Friday, his family contacted the Sublette County, Wyoming, sheriff’s office, which initiated a search that day with the assistance of the volunteer Tip Top Search and Rescue organization.
That search continued Monday with 29 people and two helicopters in the field, according to Jim Mitchell, emergency management coordinator for Sublette County. The search area is approximately 225 square miles. There were no signs of Udall as of Monday afternoon.
Udall is the founder of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency in Aspen, and one of the region’s leading voices on energy and climate issues. He was the headline speaker in Ridgway on June 1 for Transition OurWay’s Green Energy Expo. He was also the keynote speaker at the Delta-Montrose Electric Association's annual member meeting in Hotchkiss this year.
Udall’s father was the late congressman Morris “Mo” Udall of Arizona.
Udall set out from the Elkhart Park trailhead near Pinedale, Wyoming, on Thursday, June 20, and planned to exit the mountains on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office. Pinedale is about 70 miles southeast of Jackson, Wyo. and Grand Teton National Park.
Officials in Wyoming are asking anyone who may have seen Udall in the backcountry to call (307) 367-4378. Udall is 6-feet, 4-inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds, with gray/brown hair and blue eyes.
Mitchell said all leads that have come in since Friday have been chased down.
The U.S. Forest Service and Teton County, Wyo. Search and Rescue are assisting in the effort to find Udall.