Sunday, May 28, 2017

NEWS: Body Found on Maroon Bells (5/28/17)

Climber found killed on the Maroon Bells 5/27/17
The Maroon Bells as seen from the summit of
nearby Pyramid Peak
A man en route to attempt the Bell Cord on the Maroon Bells discovered a body yesterday morning, leading to speculation that the deceased was Dave Cook, who went missing while attempting the Maroon Bells last September. According to reports, however, the deceased "appeared to be in his early thirties," which would not match the description of Cook, who was 49 years old at the time of his disappearance.

Authorities have not yet released the identity of the recovered body but have merely reported that the victim had "several injuries to his head and leg." It was not clear if he was attempting to climb the peak at the time of his accident.

The Maroon Bells have proven themselves to be some of Colorado's most dangerous mountains over and over. They have well-earned their ominous nickname "the Deadly Bells." They were the sight of two fatal accidents last year. As Colorado Mountaineering reported in an analysis back in January, the Bells, combined with Longs Peak and the two Crestones, accounted for over half of all mountaineering deaths on Colorado 14ers between 2010 and 2016. Several contributing factors have led to these high numbers, including objective hazards such as loose rock, complicated routefinding and overall steepness.

UPDATE: The deceased hiker has been identified as Jeffrey Bushroe, a 27-year-old from Tucson, Arizona. According to a forum post on 14ers.com by a user claiming to be the person who found the victim, he was "not dressed for climbing."

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

NEWS: Climber Found Alive After Being Missing For Two Days on Pyramid Peak

Ryan Montoya has been found alive on Pyramid Peak
Pyramid Peak in the fall
In good news, missing mountaineer Ryan Montoya was found alive Tuesday after vanishing on Sunday while attempting to climb Pyramid Peak in the winter.

According to a report on the Aspen Times website, Montoya had bivouacked near Crater Lake apparently in a snow cave on Saturday night and fell at least 1,500 feet as he attempted to climb the peak the following day. Montoya was found Tuesday by a runner along the Maroon Creek Road, having made much of the journey under his own power.

Montoya is described as an experienced climber by his friends. The type and extent of his injuries are unknown at this time, though the story has reported him as having frostbite. Winds on Pyramid Peak are estimated to have reached nearly 100 mph in the past few days.

Pyramid Peak is one of Colorado's most difficult 14,000-foot peaks. It along with neighboring Maroon and North Maroon Peak have accounted for many injuries and deaths over the years. 

A sizable rescue effort had been underway to locate Montoya. Earlier Tuesday rescue volunteers had discovered his skis and snow cave as well the remnants of a large avalanche.

It is fortunate that Montoya escaped this ordeal with his life.

RELATED STORIES
-Pyramid Peak: Northeast Ridge
-Climber Dies on Thunder Pyramid
-2016 Mountaineering Deaths in Colorado
-Summary and Analysis of 14er Deaths This Decade (2010-2016)

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NEWS: Hiker Blown Off Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park

Hiker breaks leg in Rocky Mountain National Park in high winds
Twin Sisters Peak in RMNP
Hiker and famed mountaineer Alan Arnette suffered a badly broken leg when he was blown off Twin Sisters Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park a week ago. Arnette and a friend, Jim Davidson, were near 11,000 feet on Twin Sisters Trail when a gust of wind estimated around 90-100 miles per hour suddenly launched Arnette off the trail into a boulder field where he badly broke his leg and injured his face. Arnette admitted in an interview with 9News that he was lucky to be alive.

"I remember (Jim Davidson) saying 'There's a 10 percent chance we can make the summit, but there's a 70 percent chance something may go wrong," Arnette said in the interview. You can view the interview with 9news here at this link.

Alan Arnette is a veteran mountaineer with a heap of international accomplishments. He has reached the summit of Mt. Everest and K2 as well as many other mountains around the world. Outside Magazine called Arnette "One of the world's most respected chroniclers of Mt. Everest." He is also a well-known speaker and maintains a website about all things mountaineering.

We wish Arnette a speedy recovery and look forward to hearing more about his harrowing adventures.

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