Vail Police seek missing snowboarder
Nineteen-year-old Jasper ‘Jaz’ McGrath was heading to Vail Mountain to snowboard Jan. 6 just as he always did, except he never came home that day.
Joe McGrath, Jasper McGrath’s 21-year-old brother, reported him missing Sunday to Vail Police when he realized something wasn’t right.
“I had told him he needed to clean the bathroom, so I thought he was trying to skip out on that,” Joe McGrath said.
Jasper McGrath had been sleeping on his brother’s couch for about two months. He lived in Vail last season and worked at the children’s ski school in Lionshead.
He came back two months ago and hasn’t found a job yet, Joe McGrath said.
Vail Police Sgt. Chris Botkins said there’s not a whole lot for Vail Police to go on – Jasper McGrath didn’t have a job, wasn’t in school and didn’t have a car or a cell phone, Botkins said.
“He’s literally just out here (in Vail) couch-surfing,” Botkins said. “There are no suspicious circumstances (in this case) whatsoever.”
Vail Police don’t know if he ever made it to Vail Mountain when he was last seen heading there from West Vail. Vail Police can’t search season pass scanning records because he didn’t have a season pass.
“He was going to try to sneak on the mountain, which he had done before,” Botkins said.
Joe McGrath said his brother usually hiked up the face of Vail Mountain near the gondola. He would typically stay on the front side of the mountain when he went snowboarding, Joe McGrath said.
Joe McGrath said he didn’t report his brother missing until Sunday because he had been working so much and didn’t realize how odd it was that he hadn’t heard from him until later.
“I thought, ‘woah, I haven’t seen him in a couple of days, where is he,'” Joe McGrath said.
Joe McGrath said he’s been asking around, but there are several friends of his brother’s he doesn’t know. He’s hoping for the best – that maybe Jasper McGrath could be couch-surfing with one of them.
“We’re going to post some photos around town (Wednesday), so hopefully we’ll get some information.”
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When the East Troublesome Fire raged across Grand County last October, thousands of people were evacuated from the US Highway 34 corridor in 90 minutes, thanks in part to the preparation of evacuation maps.