Climber dies on Capitol Peak | AspenTimes.com
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Climber dies on Capitol Peak

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

A climber in his mid-30s was reported overdue Friday evening on Capitol Peak after getting separated from his two partners. His body was found the next day just after 2 p.m. at the base of the peak’s north face, where he was pronounced dead.

According to Pitkin County sheriff’s Deputy Marcin Debski, the climber, whose name has not been released, split up from his group to take a separate route down.

“From what I understand, they never discussed him going another route. He just decided to do it himself,” Debski said.

While his two partners descended the standard route, Knife Edge, he took the north face, where his partners initially saw him working his way down. After he failed to appear at camp, they reported him overdue.

“Nobody actually spoke with him in regards to why he was taking anther route,” Debski said. “We’re all assuming that he thought the way he took was an easier route.”

Because he was reported overdue at night, officials were unable to search until Saturday, when a plane and two ground teams were assembled. Two groups took separate routes up to Capitol Lake by foot. One team member was able to reach the body and pronounced the man dead.

Debski said access to where the climber fell is very limited, making it impossible to remove the body by foot. A helicopter will be sent for the retrieval today.

Six miles northwest of the Maroon Bells, Capitol Peak is infamous for Knife Edge, a thin ridge of rock northeast of the summit.

“It’s one of the more difficult fourteeners — definitely top-10,” Debski said.


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