In Colorado, an experienced mountain climber dies after falling 300 feet.
Over the weekend, a 44-year-old man from Washington died while climbing a mountain on his own in Colorado.
The man, identified as Jeremy Fuerst, is thought to have died on Saturday afternoon. When the climber did not return that day, rescuers were alerted.
A search was begun by the Division of Fire Protection and Control – Canon City Helitack and two members of Custer County Search and Rescue (CCSAR). They discovered Fuerst at the bottom of a 300-foot traverse connecting Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle with the help of a helicopter. According to the crew, he appeared to have perished.
“It appeared as though the climber had fallen and suffered fatal injuries,” CCSAR said in a Facebook statement.
The rescue squad, however, struggled to recover the climber’s body due to the treacherous terrain.
“Due to the steep, technical terrain and the difficulties of the recovery, it was judged that fielding crews at first light on Sunday was the safest course of action,” CCSAR noted.
According to KKTV, a climbing crew was dispatched on Sunday to reach Fuerst’s body and assist with the airlift.
“The landscape in this area is made up of loose, crumbling rock, which made the search crews’ job more difficult,” CCSAR added.
The climber’s body was recovered as scheduled and brought to the Saguache County coroner’s office.
Fuerst was described by CCSAR as a “well-prepared” climber with a lot of experience. According to the New York Post, however, it is unknown how he fell.
CCSAR also used the occasion to caution the public about the dangers of climbing mountains alone in the same statement.
“Custer County Search and Rescue would like to remind the public and recreational climbers that climbing solo can increase the risk of a catastrophic event,” it noted. “Accidents happen even with the best planning, and the repercussions are far more serious when kilometers into the backcountry.”
After that, it urged individuals to do their homework on their selected route and make sure they have enough food, drink, and the right gear before staying an extra night at altitude.
Fuerst served as the pastor of Central Lutheran Church in Everett, Washington, and his wife, Shannyn, serves as the pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Seattle.
His synod, Northwest Washington Synod, ELCA, released a statement on its Facebook page Monday about Fuerst’s untimely demise and asked everyone to pray for his soul.
“Please remember his wife, Pastor Shannyn Fuerst, their family, and friends in your prayers. Washington Newsday Brief News.