By Mary Lowers for Crestone Eagle


The black helicopters we have noticed circling around the mountain are indeed looking for a lost hiker. Sara Proper posted on the Custer County Search and Rescue Facebook page that her cousin Dan is missing after summiting Challenger at 11:11 AM and Kit Carson at 12:12 on Wednesday. His family has not heard from Dan, an experienced hiker and climber. His car was located at the Willow Lake trailhead where he made his ascent. It is thought he made his descent back toward  Challenger. What happened to him from the area known as the saddle on is unknown. According to Captain Wilson of theSaguache County Sheriff’s office the search and rescue mission is now in the hands of Custer County Search and Rescue because Dan is believed to be on the Custer County side of the mountains.
UPDATE Saturday 7/27
According to a Custer County Search and Rescue update, the missing hiker has been identified as Dan Wallick, 41, of Salida. Wallick is an active duty Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force. He may be wearing a dark raincoat, an orange long sleeved shirt, a blue short sleeved shirt and olive green pants. Agencies participating in this search include: Saguache County Search & Rescue, Custer County Search & Rescue, Western State Mountain Rescue, and Fremont County Search & Rescue. The search continues. If you have anything to report about Dan Wallick, missing hiker call the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office @ 655 2525.