(ASPEN DAILY NEWS) Several dead cows at Conundrum Hot Springs have U.S. Forest Service officials scratching their heads in an attempt to hatch a scheme to remove them before the spring thaw and hikers descend upon the popular backcountry destination at 11,200 feet.

The cows were discovered by two Air Force Academy cadets when they snowshoed up in late March. They had planned to sleep in a Forest Service cabin but couldn’t because the animals were piled up in it, frozen solid. Upon their return to Aspen, they informed the Aspen ranger district for the White River National Forest.

Initially Forest Service officials said they planned to blow the cows up with explosives — and they still might — but with high fire danger and a current ban on prescribed burns, it could be an issue.

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