Sean Nichols, 28, of Alma, raced up a scree field on the north face of Mount Bross on Sept. 22 to finally rescue the missing dog off the Colorado 14er. He and girlfriend Trinity Smith reunited 14-year-old Chloe with owners Larry Osborne and Anouk Patel shortly thereafter. (Photo courtesy of Trinity Smith via Summit Daily)

When Chloe, a 14-year-old chocolate lab-pit bull mix, didn’t come bounding home for dinner one evening in August, owners Larry Osborne and Anouk Patel launched a search operation befitting a cherished family member around their home near tree line in the high-altitude town of Alma.
From mid-August, they took to social media, plastered posters throughout the area, spread the word at the South Park Saloon — the bar and restaurant they own — and took shifts scouring the area around nearby Mount Bross, the 14,172-foot peak that rises above the town, for the sweet, 90-pound dog they had raised since before they were married.
“She was like our first baby, to be honest with you,” says Osborne, 34.
But when summer began to give way to early snow, hail, cold rain and hints of winter winds, they faced what seemed a heartbreaking reality. They took down the flyers. They told friends that if, perchance, they came …