Aspen – Climber who died on Capitol Peak initially survived fall
July 13, 2009
ASPEN, Colorado (AP) – Authorities in Aspen say the U.S. Paralympic swim coach who died after a climbing accident fell hundreds of feet from a snowy ledge on Capitol Peak.
Forty-seven-year-old Jimi Flowers died Friday on the 14,130-foot mountain after making the steep and technical climb to its summit with a friend.
Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy Adam Crider said Flowers initially survived the fall. But he said Flowers died by the time a paramedic reached him by helicopter nearly four hours after his friend called for help.
The first helicopter summoned was unable to leave Frisco because of mechanical problems and another was dispatched from Denver.
The helicopter had to first unload some weight because of the high altitude. Then it dropped off Mountain Rescue team members, including a paramedic, one at a time on a flat area about 1.5 miles from Flowers.
Flowers was USA Swimming’s national team director from 1989-93. He also worked at Auburn and the U.S. Olympic Committee.