Dillon hiker dies in fall near Aspen
September 11, 2011
ASPEN – Steep, vertical terrain and unpredictable weather caused authorities Sunday to suspend a recovery operation for a a Dillon man who died Saturday in a fall near Pyramid Peak outside of Aspen.
Most likely, the recovery of the victim’s body will not happen until Wednesday, according to Deputy Jason Kasper of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. The victim’s name had not been released as of Sunday afternoon.
“We need to get the right helicopter to assist, and that’s a challenge right now,” Kasper said. Due to the challenging terrain, officials deemed the area unsafe to perform rescues from the ground on Sunday, Kasper said, explaining that recovery efforts would need a longer rope and different helicopter than used for most recovery or rescue operations.
That will take until Wednesday at the earliest, Kasper said.
“(The victim’s) in a really bad spot,” Kasper added. “We did a flyover yesterday and that’s when we saw we would need a little different equipment.”
According to authorities, the hiker, who was not identified in a press release, fell in the Thunder Pyramid area, about a mile south of Pyramid Peak, a fourteener located near the Maroon Bells. The man, 41, was climbing at least two of the peaks in the area when he fell over the east side of a ridge, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office reported.
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Authorities were notified of a dead climber at about 4:30 p.m. A companion was able to climb out and call for help; the sheriff’s office and Mountain Rescue Aspen responded.
Shortly after 8 p.m., a rescue team boarded an airplane and flew over the area to locate the body and formulate a recovery plan. Adverse weather conditions and waning daylight forced rescuers to postpone the recovery, Kasper said.