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Experienced climber dead after fall on Sangre De Cristo Mountains in Custer County

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Posted at 4:20 PM, Sep 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 17:25:14-04

WESTCLIFFE, Colo. — A 44-year-old man, who officials said was an experienced climber, fell to his death climbing the Sangre De Cristo Mountains in Custer County Saturday.

Members of Custer County Search and Rescue began a search operation Saturday after receiving a report of a climber who was overdue in returning home from climbing Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle.

An aerial team spotted the man’s body around 1 p.m., roughly 300 feet below the traverse between Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle, according to a news release from Custer County Search and Rescue.

Crews recovered the man’s body Sunday. His identity has not been released.

Crews reported loose, crumbling rock in the area where the body was found, which increased the difficulty for the search teams.

Officials are reminding the public that climbing solo can increase the risk of a catastrophic event, even if you are well-prepared and experienced.