Identity released of hunter who died from fall on North Maroon Peak |

Identity released of hunter who died from fall on North Maroon Peak

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version.

A Littleton-area man died at Aspen Valley Hospital on Sunday after falling and injuring himself while hunting mountain goats on North Maroon Peak, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said.

The County Coroner’s Office said the victim was Theodore James Leach, 42, with the cause of death being “multiple systems trauma due to the fall.”

He was hunting alone, according to a Sheriff’s Office supervisor.

North Maroon Peak lies about 11 miles south of Aspen. Leach was injured at the time a climber discovered him just before 6:15 a.m. at an elevation of 11,200 feet, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The climber descended the peak rapidly until he had cellphone coverage and was able to call emergency dispatchers, authorities said.

A Mountain Rescue Aspen team was assembled and placed into the area by a Black Hawk helicopter from the High Altitude Aviation Training Site in Gypsum. A rescuer made contact with Leach at 7:45 a.m., authorities said.

The Black Hawk took the victim to a transfer point where a Flight for Life helicopter picked him up and took him to Aspen Valley Hospital just before 11 a.m., the supervisor said.

“A short while later the (Sheriff’s Office) was notified that the hunter had died due to his injuries,” the statement said.

By noon, all Mountain Rescue Aspen team members were out of the field and back at their headquarters near the Aspen Business Center, authorities said.

In the same statement, the Sheriff’s Office issued a reminder that people traversing backcountry areas should always prepare for the associated risks.


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