Helicopter rescues wayward climber from Capitol Peak near Aspen | VailDaily.com

Helicopter rescues wayward climber from Capitol Peak near Aspen

The Aspen Times staff report

The north face of Capitol Peak, widely considered the hardest 14er in Colorado.

A climber who went off-route on the descent of Capitol Peak became stranded in the sub-summit K2 area Wednesday afternoon, according to a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office statement.

Joseph Seeds Jr. of Denver was unable to find the route again but was able to contact a friend via text message for help, according to the statement.

The Pitkin County Emergency Dispatch center received a report of the climber at approximately 2:40 p.m. A National Guard Black Hawk helicopter was deployed at approximately 4:45 p.m. and an additional group of rescuers hiked into the field at around 5.

Shortly thereafter the helicopter team located Seeds, who was thirsty and fatigued, according to the statement, but was otherwise uninjured. Seeds and the MRA team were flown off the mountain by 6:15 p.m.

Five climbers have died on Capitol Peak this summer, a stunning increase in fatalities on the 14er. Only four climbers died on Capitol between 2003 and 2016.