Crews Recover Body Of Fallen Climber In Indian Peaks Wilderness

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Search crews worked to recover the body of a woman who had fallen on Paiute Peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness on Sunday.

The victim is a 44-year-old Denver woman who was with a friend when she slipped and fell while climbing the peak.

Sheriff’s deputies and search and rescue personnel were notified of the fallen climber about 8:20 p.m. Sunday after her companion called for help. He told authorities that she fell about 2 p.m. as they were attempting to descend the summit.

Her companion estimated that she fell at least 100 feet down a snow bank and into a crevasse. He said he was able to climb down and reach her and attempted to give her medical aid and CPR for several hours.

As evening approached he left her in order to hike back to the Mitchell Lake Trailhead to summon additional help because there was no cellphone service in the backcountry.

He told authorities that he believed she had died before he left her to get help.

Crews attempted to reach the woman on Sunday night but because of the terrain and remote location of the glacier on Paiute Peak, they were unable to reach her.

Members of the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group camped in the area overnight and resumed rescue efforts Monday just after 5 a.m. Rescue personnel reached the victim at 8:40 a.m. and confirmed the woman was deceased. Rescuers started to recover her body which may require air resources.

Sheriff’s detectives are working with investigators from the Boulder County Coroner’s Office to determine the exact circumstances around her death and the extent of her injuries.

Additional Information from Boulder County:

Paiute Peak is located on the western boundary of Boulder County on the Continental Divide in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. The closest trail access to Paiute Peak is from the Mitchell Lake Trailhead at Brainard Lake, and is estimated to be an aerial distance of at least eight miles from the trailhead. The woman’s body is estimated to be at an elevation of 13,000 feet, just a few hundred feet below the peak summit.

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