Missing hiker found dead on Quandary | AspenTimes.com

Missing hiker found dead on Quandary

Ashley DicksonThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

Eric Drummond/Summit Daily NewsA sign posted near the Blue Lakes trailhead at the base of Quandary Peak provides a description of Ryan Torpey and asked anyone that had seen him to contact authorities. Rescue workers found his body on Quandary Peak Thursday afternoon.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. A Missouri man whose body was found Thursday on Quandary Peak was an acclaimed master chef visiting Breckenridge for his sisters wedding.Ryan Torpey, 31, had embarked on a short day hike from the Blue Lakes trailhead Wednesday morning but had not returned by 5:30 p.m., prompting his family to contact authorities.According to his family, this guy was an experienced hiker, and he had summited Quandary before, said Summit County Search and Rescue spokeswoman Anna DeBatiste.Searchers quickly fanned out across the mountain on Wednesday evening but were forced to retreat at nightfall.We had 10 teams on the mountain Wednesday, and we couldnt find anything, DeBatiste said.Resuming the effort Thursday morning, local rescuers gained the assistance of searchers from Rocky Mountain Rescue, Larimer County Search & Rescue, Garfield County, Mesa County, Aspen Mountain Rescue, and Routt County Search & Rescue counties and a helicopter from the High Altitude Training Center of the Army National Guard.Meanwhile, Torpeys grim-faced family members hung fliers at the trailhead asking hikers to be on the lookout for him in hopes that he was merely lost or injured.During a single pass over the search area about 11 a.m. Thursday, a Flight-for-Life helicopter crew spied his body in a couloir on the west side of the mountain, away from any marked trail.We dont know if he was coming up or going down, DeBatiste said. But it was obvious he had fallen.Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson confirmed late Thursday that Torpey suffered injuries consistent with a fall.Torpey was a highly praised up-and-coming chef in his home state, and for the past two years he worked as the executive chef at the Swizzle Martini & Wine Bistro in Kansas City.Ryan Torpey is the best chef youve never heard of, Kansas City food critic Lauren Chapin wrote last year.The Pitch, an alternative weekly newspspaper in Kansas City, touted him as a talented young chef whose cuisine inspired the bistro owners to focus more attention on the food.Torpey attended culinary school in Oregon and worked in some of Kansas City’s most notable restaurants.Family members could not be reached for comment, but they told rescuers that Torpey was in town for his sisters wedding.Quandary, outside of Breckenridge, is the highest peak in the Tenmile Range and is considered an easy 14,000-foot peak, but it frequently has been the site of accidents and dozens of fatalities over the years.Most recently, on June 13, climber Dan Heim survived a harrowing fall down the peaks steep Monte Christo couloir, a popular mountaineering destination.It took rescuers three hours to lower Heim, who suffered a broken arm, head wounds and broken neck, down the snow-and-rock gully.adickson@summitdaily.com

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