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Experienced mountaineer dies from apparent fall near Telluride

Recovery mission for missing hiker in Sneffels area_May 31 2021
san miguel gilpin peak fall.jpeg
Posted at 5:30 PM, May 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 07:40:34-04

SAN MIGUEL COUNTY, Colo. — A recovery mission is underway near Gilpin Peak after an experienced mountaineer was found dead from an apparent fall Monday afternoon.

Patrick Eells, 29, of Telluride, was reported missing Sunday at 11 p.m. after he hadn't returned from a hike, according to the San Miguel County Sheriff's Office. Eells' girlfriend told investigators his plan was to hike from Telluride, run on Sneffels Highline and possibly summit Mt. Emma.

A search and rescue mission launched early Monday utilizing multiple aircraft resources.

Eells was located at 2 p.m. and reportedly died from traumatic injuries.

The sheriff's office believes he fell while hiking alone on the Dallas-Gilpin ridge about 3.5 miles north of Telluride.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Eells, who so clearly was in the prime of his life,” San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said.

Investigators advised people to avoid the upper Mill Creek Basin area below Gilpin Peak until the recovery mission is complete.