Frozen Cows May Be Blown Up

A group of cows frozen solid in a Rocky Mountains cabin may be blown up by the U.S. Forest Service.

The cows are in the Conundrum Creek Cabin in the White River National Forest about nine miles from Aspen, Colorado and 11,200 feet up. Two Air Force Cadets discovered them in late March when they snow-shoed up.

It’s believed they got in during a snow storm and couldn’t figure out how to get back out again. There are thought to be six inside and a couple more outside.

Cows are allowed to wander onto federal wilderness lands, as long as ranchers get a permit from the Forest Service. The Forest Service said it is still trying to locate the rancher who lost the cows and it was not known if the rancher had a permit.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Steve Segin said that “time is of the essence because we don’t want them defrosting” due to possible water contamination in the nearby hot springs. There’s also the issue of bears coming out of hibernation.

Using explosives may be the easiest option, and one they have used before on “dead horses, elk and other animals in areas where it’s impossible to get them out.” This breaks up carcasses so scavengers can pick off everything quickly.

Helicopters are too expensive and they don’t want to use trucks in a wilderness area. Burning the cabin may also be an option, but before doing anything, rangers are checking the cabin for asbestos.

Scott Snelson, district ranger for the Aspen-Sopris District at the White River National Forest, discussed the media interest in the story with NPR, saying:

“It is pretty juicy story. Conundrum Creek, cows in a cabin; explosives, potentially a big barbecue. Yeah, I can see why people are interested.”

Related stories:

Top 5 American Treasures to Protect in 2012

Conservation Groups Challenge Courts To Protect Wolves

Saving The Snow: Skiing Industry Sets Sustainable Example

Image of Conundrum Creek Cabin, courtesy U.S. Forest Service


Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W6 years ago

Hey Scott - Go stick it!
Right-wing fanatic? ? ? You obviously have never read any of my posts before or you'd eat those words.
And ignorant ? ? ? I spend more time than anyone else I know researching the researchers and back-sourcing the sources, so no - you can't have that either.

As for militant vegans - I have been bullied to a point of tears and censorship by vegans who call me out as a murderer and torturer after I've been generous enough to congratulate them on their sacrifices and depth of their beliefs. Then they, like you, turn around and call me hateful names and talk about hateful things to do to me when I commit to and encourage others to only look for meat that was humanely raised, open-pastured and not shot up with drugs.
For you to call me out here like that was vile and rude. So up yours back atcha pal! I'm not here to be bullied by anyone and especially not the likes of you!

Suzana Megles
Suzana Megles6 years ago

All I could think of was what a horrible way to die. How would we like to freeze to death?

Robert Tedders
Robert T6 years ago


Robert Tedders
Robert T6 years ago


Deborah Gaffin
Deborah Gaffin6 years ago

My sister (who lives in Colorado) sent me an article about this the other day. First, it is believed that these cows were part of a group that wandered over from an entirely different area than where these cows ended up. There was no mention of knowing who the rancher was.
Second- those of you suggesting using the cows to feed hungry people- ewww! Just because the carcasses are frozen- ugh. I do eat meat, but not random dead things from the forest...
Third, the problem with removal of the dead cows is complicated by the location- this is a remote, high altitude wilderness area- hence the 'discovery' of the cows by SNOWSHOING individuals. This area does not have roads to cart the (large) bodies off.
There is concern about waiting for the cows to thaw- and contamination of the springs- and the carcasses attracting newly awakened bears (though I think the bears cleaning up the carcasses is an okay idea to me...)

Judith H.
Judith H6 years ago

Horrible that these animals were not protected by their owners. I agree it is a 'juicy' story, but can you imagine how 'juicy' it will be in the spring when they start to decompose?

Lilithe Magdalene

Boys love blowing things up, don't they? It's the answer to every conundrum it seems.

Dominic C.
Dominic C6 years ago

Waste of livestock and meat. Food wasting again!

Gustavo Tomas


Anita Wischhusen
Anita Wisch6 years ago

Such amazingly nasty comments......... Lets get back to what the article is about, and stop all the "hating".