|The North Face of Capitol Peak, a mountain that has|
claimed the lives of four mountaineers in just over a month
According to sources, the couple had "tentative plans" and many suspected they might have stayed longer than expected in the area to view Monday's eclipse. This confusion led to a lapse in reaction time in the search for the missing couple. Once it was clear they had not returned as planned, a search was mounted which led to the discovery of the bodies.
According to a press release by the Pitkin County Sheriff Department, witnesses on the mountain the day of the accident, which is thought to have occurred on Sunday, suggested the couple likely summited the mountain but may have decided to descend via a different route. Those familiar with Capitol Peak know that there is no viable route for descent besides the standard Northeast Ridge, especially without ropes.
Though the names of the deceased have not been officially released pending notification of next of kin, Aspen Public Radio is reporting that someone close to victims has released their names. You can find their article at this link.
This latest accident tops off what has been a grim, record-setting year for the Elk Range. Four climbers have been killed on Capitol Peak and an additional two have been killed on the Maroon Bells. These peaks, renowned for their beauty, are notoriously dangerous to climb and have proven fatal for many adventurers over the years.
A story published in January on Colorado Mountaineering analyzing the deaths on Colorado's 14ers since 2010 and showed that the Elk Range hosts an abnormal percentage of fatal accidents on Colorado's 14ers.
UPDATED (8/23/17) The deceased have been identified as Carlin Brightwell and Ryan Marcil. The couple was described as having dated for a number of months and recently moving in together. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of these victims.
-Climber Dies on Capitol Peak (7/19/2017)
-Another Climber Killed on Capitol Peak (8/6/2017)
-Statistical Analysis of 14er Deaths this Decade (2010-2016)
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