ASPEN— The body of the climber recovered Saturday afternoon on Capitol Peak, a 14er west of Aspen, was identified Sunday as 35-year-old Ryan Joseph Palmer of Vail. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office was waiting until the family was reached to release his name to the public.
Palmer was found at an elevation of about 12,300 feet on the north face of the mountain, said the Sheriff’s Office in a statement. According to the friends he went climbing with, he attempted to climb down the exposed north face and not take the usual route across the “knife edge” back down the mountain. At 7:15 p.m. Palmer had still not arrived at camp. His friends reported him missing and Mountain Rescue Aspen deployed 11 volunteer members, and, with the aid of Bruce Gordon of Eco Flight from Aspen, located Palmer on the snowfield below the north face of the mountain. Palmer fell approximately 200 to 300 feet according to the Sheriff’s Office, and his exact cause of death remains undeclared. Funeral arrangements for Palmer have yet to be announced.