CUSTER COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - The search for an Air Force officer missing for several days after summiting two 14ers came to a tragic end.
The Custer County Search and Rescue confirmed late Sunday night that crews had found the body of Lt. Col. Dan Wallick over the weekend.
Wallick last contacted his family on the afternoon of July 24 after scaling Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point. His family reported him missing Thursday after receiving no further word.
In a Facebook post on private group 14ers.com and shared by Custer County Search and Rescue, a friend said Wallick told his father that he parked at the trailhead near Crestone, climbed Challenger Point first and then moved on to Kit Carson Peak:
"He took the Willow Creek trail from the trailhead by Crestone. His father confirmed his car was located at the trailhead. He then went to Challenger where he summited at 11:00 and then to kit Carson at 12:12. His descent was back towards Challenger, but it is not known what he did from the saddle on the way down."
The two peaks sit right next to each other, separated by a ridge, and it's not uncommon for hikers to bag both in one day. The mountains are located near the Saguache-Custer county line.
Search and rescue teams from Saguache, Fremont and Custer counties, as well as the Western State Mountain Rescue Group, participated in the ground search, with aerial assistance from Flight for Life, National Guard, and Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control aircraft. Storms reportedly hindered search efforts Friday.
Wallick's body was spotted by a helicopter Saturday, but because of severe weather, his remains were not recovered until Sunday.
Wallick is originally from Salida but was stationed at Schriever Air Force Base, where he worked in missile defense.