On Thursday 5th November 2020, at approximately 12:30 PM, the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center received a call from a pair of climbers on the summit of North Maroon Peak near Aspen, CO, reporting that they had just witnessed a solo male climber fall from the ridgeline while traversing between South Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak.
The climber was reported to have fallen approximately 500-1000 feet down a narrow gully to the Southeast of the summit of North Maroon Peak. The fallen climber was later identified as a 43-year-old male from Niwot, Colorado.
Shortly after the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office was notified, rescuers from Mountain Rescue Aspen were informed of the situation. Beginning at approximately 1:43 PM, four MRA rescue teams entered the field on this mission. One rescue team was flown in by helicopter with the U.S. Army National Guard High Altitude Aviation Training Site (HAATS), two rescue teams entered the field on foot and another rescue team was placed on ground standby at Maroon Lake with a helicopter from CareFlight of the Rockies.
At around 2:45 PM, the MRA rescue team flying in the HAATS helicopter spotted the fallen climber. At approximately 2:54 PM, MRA rescuers were lowered by a long line from the HAATS helicopter to the fallen climber and confirmed that he was deceased. Based on the injuries the climber had sustained, the fall was not survivable. A short time later, the MRA rescuers and the deceased climber were hoisted into the HAATS helicopter and flown to the Aspen Pitkin County Airport. The deceased climber was then turned over to a Pitkin County Deputy Coroner.
By 5:30 PM all MRA rescue team members were out of the field and had returned to the MRA Rescue Center. A short time later, the incident was closed.