The news site of Summit High School

Tiger Tracks

Colorado 14er Takes Five Lives in Six Week Span

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 

“It’s a little like walking on a balance beam,” recalled expert hiker Chris Hall. Hall is expressing what is feels like to cross Capitol Peak’s infamous Knife Edge. Climbing Colorado 14ers is among the most underestimated outdoor activities that the state has to offer. Colorado locals are taking the mountains’ true intensity with a grain of salt. This summer, an abnormally high amount hikers have paid the price of attempting to bag Colorado’s most technical peaks.

At an elevation of 14,130′, Capitol Peak is ranked as one of the hardest 14ers in Colorado, which makes it even more appealing to hikers. Before the 2017 season, the mountain caused the death of four hikers over a 10 year span. However, over the 2017 summer, the mountain has taken the lives of five hikers and injured several others.

On July 15th, Parker resident, Jake Lord was ascending Capitol Peak when the boulder he was climbing on came loose and caused him to fall to his death. Lord was not on the established trail at the time of his fall, but he was not far from it. A few weeks later, on August 6th, 35-year-old Jeremy Shull fell 200 feet to his death after the rock beneath him gave way near the Knife Edge and K2 summit. Capitol Peak’s most recent victim was 21-year-old Zackaria White who was separated from his partner after disagreements on how to descend the ridge. He was confirmed to have been wearing skateboarding shoes and was found not far from where a couple fell less than a week earlier.

Aspen couple, Carlin Brightwell and Ryan Marcil, were killed after they both fell nearly 200 feet. The couple was last seen at the summit of Capitol on Sunday morning, but apparently took a different route to descend in order to avoid the daunting Knife Edge. They were reported missing on Monday after failing to return on Sunday.

A forum on 14ers.com was started in an attempt to gain any information that they could on the couple. A photo of the two nearing the summit was released but there was no new information. After the couple was pronounced deceased, new information was released by a group camping near Capitol Peak by Capitol Lake. They reported to have heard rockfall and a man and woman shouting to each other. One man claimed to hear falling rock followed by a scream that lasted a minute at approximately 6:30 Sunday evening, and another scream about 15 minutes later.

The summer hiking season is coming to a close, but hikers are still trying to bag their final summits. These hikers are urged to tackle the mountain with the proper equipment and knowledge they need to stay safe, especially if they are attempting technical peaks such as Capitol or North Maroon. Most of the deaths this summer could have been prevented if hikers had followed proper safety protocol.

Because of the incidents on Capitol Peak, mountain rescue teams across the state have been spreading awareness about the importance of mountain safety protocol. “Let’s all keep an eye on each other out there,” posted Mountain Rescue Aspen, “If you see someone lost or off-route, say something. And if they are off-route on Capitol Peak or North Maroon, say it loudly.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Colorado 14er Takes Five Lives in Six Week Span

    News

    The NFL Anthem Crisis

  • Colorado 14er Takes Five Lives in Six Week Span

    Sports

    The Breckenridge Bolts: The Newest Hockey Addition to Summit County Hockey

  • Colorado 14er Takes Five Lives in Six Week Span

    Features

    A Season for the Record Books

  • Features

    DREAMers In Summit County

  • Sports

    Summit High School Girls Rugby Team 2017 Season

  • Colorado 14er Takes Five Lives in Six Week Span

    News

    Pro Start Competition

  • Colorado 14er Takes Five Lives in Six Week Span

    News

    Summit High School Speech and Debate State Qualifiers

  • Colorado 14er Takes Five Lives in Six Week Span

    Entertainment

    Technological Advances By: Maddy Duffy

  • Colorado 14er Takes Five Lives in Six Week Span

    Opinion

    We chai-ed it all

  • Colorado 14er Takes Five Lives in Six Week Span

    News

    Five things you need to know about the Republican Healthcare Plan

The news site of Summit High School
Colorado 14er Takes Five Lives in Six Week Span