Re­cov­ery of Parker man’s body from Capi­tol Peak took 9 hours

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By Jason Aus­lan­der

Vol­un­teers with Moun­tain Res­cue Aspen spent a tax­ing nine hours Wed­nes­day re­cov­er­ing the body of a Parker man from in­side a crevasse on Capi­tol Peak.

“In talk­ing with the guys from Moun­tain Res­cue Aspen, it was prob­a­bly one of the most dif­fi­cult re­cov­er­ies in the last cou­ple of decades,” said Michael Buglione of the Pitkin County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, who served as in­ci­dent com­man­der for the re­cov­ery ef­forts. “Mostly be­cause of the depth and steep­ness of the crevasse and (the body’s) lo­ca­tion.”

The climber was iden­ti­fied as Jeremy Shull, 35, who fell Sun­day from the east side of the ridge be­tween K2 and the Knife Edge on his way up the 14,130-foot peak, ac­cord­ing to Buglione and a news re­lease from the sher­iff’s of­fice.

Shull, an ad­dic­tion coun­selor in Parker, was mar­ried with a 2-month-old son, and was an ex­pe­ri­enced climber, Buglione said.

He was the sec­ond climber to die on Capi­tol Peak this summer, af­ter Jake Lord, 25, also of Parker, fell to his death in July.

Shull was climb­ing with three friends Sun­day, who were be­hind him when he reached the point from which he fell.

Re­cov­ery ef­forts were post­poned un­til Wed­nes­day be­cause of dan­ger­ous weather con­di­tions near the treach­er­ous peak. When the weather cleared, how­ever, those re­cov­ery ef­forts were dif­fi­cult, dra­matic and dan­ger­ous, Buglione said.

First, a pi­lot with the Colorado Depart­ment of Fire Preven­tion and Con­trol flew a team of three MRA mem­bers on a he­li­copter re­con­nais­sance flight of the lo­ca­tion of the body, he said.

“The pi­lot was con­fi­dent he could get a hook in there so they would not have to up-haul the body,” Buglione said.

The pi­lot dropped the team of MRA vol­un­teers off near K2, then flew back to re­trieve a sec­ond team of three MRA mem­bers, he said.

The six were then able to scram­ble down to the top of the crevasse and set up an­chors and ropes to rap­pel down to the body, Buglione said.

Af­ter putting Shull into a body bag, they called the he­li­copter pi­lot, who flew back and was able to drop the hook within arm’s reach of the MRA mem­bers in­side the crevasse, Buglione said. They fas­tened the hook to the body bag and the he­li­copter flew it back, he said.

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