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Climber's body recovered after fall at Crestone Peak

Custer County Search and Rescue said the 44-year-old man was found dead about 300 feet below the traverse between Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle.
Credit: KUSA
Crestone Needle

WESTCLIFFE, Colo. — Search and rescue crews have recovered the body of a man who fell while mountain climbing in southern Colorado.

According to Custer County Search and Rescue (CCSAR), dispatchers received a call at around 8 a.m. Saturday that a 44-year-old man was overdue in returning from climbing Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle.

CCSAR said in a Facebook post that around 1 p.m., two of their own team members worked with the Division of Fire Protection and Control's Cañon City Helitack crew to search the area from a helicopter. They found the man about 300 feet below the traverse between Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle.

It appeared the climber had fallen to his death, according to the post. Due to the steep, technical terrain and the difficulty of the recovery, the post said, they decided it would be best to send teams in early Sunday.

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Sunday morning, four CCSAR Technical Rope Rescue team members were transported to the area. The post said after they reached the man's body a few hours later, he was airlifted to the Saguache County coroner.

Westcliffe, Colorado – September 12, 2021 – On Saturday, September 11, at approximately 0800 FRECOM Emergency Dispatch...

Posted by Custer County SAR on Sunday, September 12, 2021

CCSAR said the man was well-prepared for the climb, with a satellite communication device and extensive climbing experience, but warned that accidents can still happen and that climbing solo can be dangerous.

Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle are part of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range and are both more than 14,000 feet in elevation. With extreme exposure and considerable rockfall potential, the Crestones Traverse has a Class 5 rating (most difficult) according to 14ers.com.

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