Body recovered near Pyramid Peak
September 15, 2011
ASPEN – Sixteen members of Mountain Rescue Aspen and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday morning worked to recover the body of a climber who fell to his death from Thunder Pyramid Peak last Saturday.
An autopsy likely will be conducted Thursday in Glenwood Springs for David Morano, 41, of Dillon, according to sheriff’s spokesman Alex Burchetta.
Morano fell 200 to 300 feet on Saturday while climbing the peak, which lies southwest of Aspen in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area, a sheriff’s office report states.
The steep, rugged terrain in the area delayed the recovery of Morano’s body, Deputy Jason Kasper said. Officials deemed the area unsafe to perform a recovery from the ground earlier this week.
Another reason for the delay: A longer rope and a different type of helicopter was than those used for most recovery and rescue operations was necessary, he said.
The work began at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, Kasper said. A two-person team from Mountain Rescue Aspen boarded a helicopter and left the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport at around 8:15 a.m., arriving at the scene shortly thereafter.
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The helicopter positioned the crew about 50 feet above Morano. T-Lazy Seven Ranch served as the landing zone for the mission.
The mountain rescue team used a 150-foot cable to recover the body. The helicopter, provided by Rifle-based DBS Helicopters, took Morano’s body back to the landing zone without incident. The operation ended at 9:30 a.m., Kasper said.
According to a story in the Summit Daily News, Morano had climbed 129 of the top 200 Colorado peaks before his fatal fall. Thunder Pyramid Peak rises to a height of 13,932 feet and is listed among the top 100 peaks in the state.
Morano was a certified public accountant with McMann and Associates in Avon. Survivors include his wife, Dr. Adele Morano, and his 8-year-old son, Alex.