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Body of hiker recovered from Mount Silverthorne

Ken May, 71, went missing Wednesday.
Credit: Summit County Rescue Group

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — The body of a hiker who went missing Wednesday has been found in a steep gully below the summit of Mount Silverthorne.

According to a release from the Summit County Rescue Group (SCRG), 71-year-old Ken May left his vehicle at about 7 a.m. on Wednesday and was expected to return around 6:45 p.m. He was equipped with a tracking device that sends automatic GPS position updates. 

A message was received from May at 1:20 p.m. stating that he was descending from the summit of Mount Silverthorne, the release said. His last coordinates were received at about 5:30 p.m., placing him on the ridge line descending from the mountain toward Salmon Lake. His device then stopped sending signals, according to the release.

On Wednesday evening, SCRG sent two teams into the Willow Lakes and Salmon Lake areas, the release said, but they were unable to continue up to the ridge because of darkness and extremely technical terrain.

After an all-night search failed to turn up any clues, the release said additional search teams were deployed early Thursday morning. That included one team that was inserted by Flight for Life near May's last known coordinates.

At around 4 p.m. Thursday, the release said a field team found May's body in very technical terrain below the ridge between Mount Silverthorne and the East Thorne. Due to the extreme nature of the terrain and the need for rescuer safety, the release said it was determined the body recovery should be attempted the next day.

Credit: Summit County Rescue Group

Friday morning, a total of 24 personnel from several search and rescue groups were sent out for a recovery operation that took all day. At around 9 p.m., they flew May's body out via Flight for Life. 

Credit: Summit County Rescue Group

Mount Silverthorne is located in Summit County, northeast of the town of the Silverthorne.

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