Two hikers were approaching Crestone Peak using the north buttress, about 09:30, when one of the hikers, a 28 year old man, fell to his death. His hiking partner witnessed the fall and then hiked down to the subject to give aid. The subject was deceased when his partner reached him. The hiking partner placed markers to aid rescuers then hiked down to where he could obtain cell phone coverage and called 911.
Custer Sheriff’s office called CCSAR at 10:20. Eight SAR members were dispatched at 12:00 to meet the reporting party on South Colony road. The reporting party informed the CCSAR team of the approximate location of the subject and the markers he had left for them. Three CCSAR members proceeded to Crestone Peak to try to find the subject but bad weather and darkness prevented them from discovering the subject that day. They camped overnight near Bear’s Playground, between Crestone Peak and Humbolt Peak.
During the evening hours CCSAR Incident Command requested additional technical personnel to aid in the recovery effort the next day. At 04:00 a team of 20 SAR members (from Alpine, Douglas county, El Paso county, Custer county and Western State) left the SAR barn, joined the CCSAR team in the field and located the subject at 08:25 (in Saguache county approximately 200 feet across the Custer county line). The subject was packaged and lowered to a landing zone in the Spanish Creek drainage in the Rio Grande national forest, NW of Crestone Peak.
Flight for Life transported the subject to the SAR barn at 12:50 where the coroner took possession of the body.
All SAR team members returned to SAR barn by 17:00.