Climber killed in fall of Colorado’s Capitol Peak

Capitol Peak is about 14 miles from the town of Aspen and is considered one of the hardest...
Capitol Peak is about 14 miles from the town of Aspen and is considered one of the hardest mountains in Colorado to climb. There have been many climber deaths on the mountain over the years.(KKTV)
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 7:31 AM MDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2022 at 9:24 AM MDT
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ASPEN, Colo. (KKTV) - A climber fell to her death while trying to summit a 14er over the weekend.

The woman was solo climbing Capitol Peak near Aspen Saturday morning when tragedy struck. Witnesses told the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office that a rock the climber was holding suddenly broke off.

“The Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center received a phone call on Saturday at 7:56 a.m. from a man who reported that he had witnessed a woman fall ... from below the summit of Capitol Peak into Pierre Lakes Basin,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement on the incident. “The phone call was transferred to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, who was told by the witness that he and his hiking party saw a Denver woman, who had been hiking solo, fall to her death after a handhold, a rock that she was attempting to grab onto, gave way.”

The caller was able to direct search and rescue to the exact location where the climber fell, and the woman’s body was recovered Saturday afternoon. The sheriff’s office says she fell approximately 900 feet from the route that connects the treacherous Knife’s Edge to the mountain’s summit.

More than two dozen people took part in the recovery operation.

The climber has not been identified at this time.

Capitol Peak is considered one of the most difficult mountains to climb in Colorado, with precarious obstacles such as loose, crumbling rocks and extreme exposure. In 2017, five climbers were killed on the mountain the span of just six weeks. Last year, three members of a search and rescue team were hurt in a rock slide on the 14er while trying to recover the body of another hiker who had fallen. That recovery operation ultimately proved too dangerous to carry out, and the hiker’s body was left on the mountain.