Hiker falls to his death on Mt. Blanca

UPDATE: Hiker has been identified


ALAMOSA — A hiker fell to his death Friday on Mount Blanca.

Alamosa Volunteer Search & Rescue teams recovered the body of a male in his 20’s who fell from Mount Blanca Friday morning around 11 a.m. Alamosa County Sheriff Robert Jackson said witnesses heard rocks sliding and then saw the body of a hiker who had fallen.

The identity of the hiker was not known by late Friday night.

Search & Rescue teams under the coordination of Suzi Hopper recovered the body Friday night and were in the process of returning down the mountain.

“They are going to be off the mountain tonight,” Sheriff Jackson said a little after 10 p.m. Friday. At that point recovery team members had made it almost to Lake Como where they planned to call on-call Alamosa County Deputy Coroner Harry Alejo who would go to meet the team.

“It takes an hour and a half in the dark to get down the mountain,” Sheriff Jackson said.

The sheriff said two Search & Rescue teams were airlifted by helicopter onto the mountain Friday to the scene, which was somewhere between Mount Blanca Peak and Lake Como, maybe a little higher than Crater Lake. Rainy weather was causing some issues with the recovery efforts, he added.

S&R teams employed a rock crawler, a truck able to navigate the rocky terrain, in their efforts to recover the body and return down the mountain. Since the truck could not bring the entire team down at once, it would probably have to make more than one trip, according to Jackson.

“There are at least nine people up there, probably more,” he said, “and the rock crawler can only take three to four at a time.”

He said S&R volunteers were prepared to spend the night on the mountain if they had to, but they were hoping not to.

“We have not been able to identify him yet,” Sheriff Jackson said. Alejo and Coroner Kevin Rogers will conduct that effort once the body is in their possession, the sheriff said.

No criminal or suspicious activity is suspected in connection with the man’s death, Sheriff Jackson said.

“We don’t believe there’s anything criminal in nature,” Jackson said.

UPDATE: The hiker has been identified.