Glenwood man dies in fall on Snowmass Mtn. |

Glenwood man dies in fall on Snowmass Mtn.

A 66-year-old Glenwood Springs man missing since Sept. 20 apparently fell at least 1,200 feet down a snow chute to his death, Gunnison County sheriff officials said Monday.

Rescuers found the body of Jose Lopez on the south side of the 14,092-foot-high Snowmass Mountain in Gunnison County about 2:30 p.m. Monday, Undersheriff Rick Besecker said.

Lopez’s body was found near the exact spot where Mark Golden, 32, of Arvada, died last June. Besecker said both Lopez and Golden were experienced climbers who may have been seeking a shortcut while on the way down from the summit.

Lopez had been hiking with his wife Sept. 20, who decided to return to their vehicle and waited through the night for his return.

Rescuers planned to use ropes and horsemen to recover Lopez’s body today.

Meanwhile, about 50 searchers, along with at least six dog teams and two helicopters were to continue their search for a Lakewood woman missing since late Saturday.

Michelle Vanek was last seen near Mount of the Holy Cross wearing black pants, a black shirt and blue windbreaker, Eagle County Lt. Kim Andree said.

Vanek told her hiking partner she was tired. The man went to the summit without her and couldn’t find her on his way back down.

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