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Contact: Paul L. Zaenger, 970-249-1914 ext.429
Recovery operations that began on Saturday afternoon, February 10, 2007, came to a close on Sunday morning, February 11. Three rangers spent the night near the bottom of the canyon below Gunnison Point following a technically difficult day of climbing that included a 140 foot vertical ice climb in order to reach the body. Fading daylight halted operations Saturday night.
Sunday morning helicopter operations resumed and the rangers in the canyon were able to lower themselves and the body to a safe landing zone near the bottom of the canyon. The helicopter was able to fly the three rangers and the body out of the canyon in multiple trips to a landing zone on the East Portal Road. Although weather was moving into the area, the recovery was safely completed shortly after 9:00 a.m. Sunday.
The body was identified and turned over to the Montrose County Coroner's office. The National Park Service is still investigating the incident.