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Salt Lake City climber found dead near Capitol Peak

August 6, 2014, 4:06 pm

Search and rescue crews on Wednesday found the body of missing 53-year-old Salt Lake City man who died while climbing Capitol Peak near Aspen.

The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office identified the man as James Edgar Nelson and ruled that he died as the result of multiple injuries resulting from a fall. Nelson’s death was also ruled an accident.

The Pitkcin County Sheriff’s Office released the following press release on Wednesday:

Pitkin County SheriffThe Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office was notified on Tuesday August 5, 2014 at approximately 11:30 p.m. of an overdue climber. A family member contacted the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office to report that a 53-year-old man from Salt Lake City, Utah had not returned home as scheduled. Additionally, the man failed to report to work on Tuesday prompting the call to authorities.

The climber was described as an experienced climber and outdoor enthusiast. An investigation into the whereabouts of the individual was started immediately. The missing climber’s car was located late Tuesday night at the trailhead to Capitol Peak. Capitol Peak is located within the White River National Forest in Pitkin County, Colorado with a peak elevation of 14, 130 feet.

On Wednesday August 6, 2014 at approximately 08:30 a.m. a search team from Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) and the Colorado National Guard’s High Altitude Aviation Training Site (HAATS) searched the area surrounding Capitol Peak. At approximately 11:30 a.m. the search team located what they believed to be the body of a man located in the Mount Daly Basin, above Moon Lake at an elevation of approximately 11,000 feet. The search team was able to land nearby and soon thereafter positively identified the body as that of the missing climber.

Recovery efforts are currently underway as is the investigation into what caused this incident. More information will be released as it becomes available. The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office will release the name of the deceased climber only after proper notifications have been made to next of kin.


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