Photos: Ryan Palmer ID'd as climber who died on one of state's riskiest 14ers
Ryan Joseph was originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but his love of the great outdoors drew him to Vail. And after relocating, he took every opportunity to head to the mountains, whether they were covered with snow or not. Unfortunately, though, Palmer has made his last climb. He died while attempting a difficult route down Capitol Peak, a Pitkin County site that tops out at more than 14,000 feet.
Details, photos and a video taken by Palmer from the summit of Mount Elbert below.
Palmer's Facebook page features loads of photos, many featuring party scenes. But such shots are outnumbered by pics of Colorado at its most rugged and beautiful, including this image....
...and a landscape from an album entitled "Vail's Highest Point:"
According to EveryJoe.com, Palmer, 35, made his living as an employee for an IT company -- but off the clock, he was a "man's man" who loved "snowboarding, riding mountain bikes and otherwise living life."
He was doing just that this past Friday when disaster struck. According to the Vail Daily, he and three friends reached the summit of Capitol Peak, one of the more dangerous of Colorado's 14ers; at least seven climbers have died after challenging it. But he split off from his companions because he didn't want to renegotiate the typical route down the summit -- a pathway known as the "Knife Edge." Instead, he took the north face of the peak.
His trio of pals went the regular way and made it down fine. But Palmer didn't turn up as expected, and at 7:15 p.m., his companions contacted the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.
At that point, they had no idea Palmer had fallen.
On Saturday, volunteer rescuers, including personnel from Aspen's Eco Flight, learned Palmer's fate, spotting his body on the north face. He's estimated to have fallen 200 to 300 feet.
Palmer's body was recovered yesterday afternoon. Now, his friends and family are left to mourn a man gone much too soon. Our sincere condolences.
Look below to see more photos of Palmer, followed by one of his videos, captured atop Mount Elbert.
Palmer's Mount Elbert video:
More from our News archive: "Tyler Mayle, R.I.P.: Windsor resident turned BYU student found dead in Utah."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Marijuana Strain Review: Mint Chocolate Chip at Canna-bis
- Reader: Big Hotels Would Like to Kill Short Term Rentals
- What Pisses Off Five Points Residents?