Missing Aspen couple found dead below Capitol Peak summit | SkyHiNews.com

Missing Aspen couple found dead below Capitol Peak summit

Jason Auslander jauslander@aspentimes.com

The bodies of an Aspen couple were found Tuesday afternoon at the base of the north face of Capitol Peak, an official said.

A helicopter crew spotted the two bodies about 2:25 p.m., said Jesse Steindler, a commander with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. While confirmation of their identities has not yet been made by the coroner, officials were 99.9 percent sure it is the couple missing since Sunday afternoon based on clothing and equipment found with the bodies, he said.

While posts about the missing couple were on Facebook and other websites Tuesday, The Aspen Times is not releasing their names until the next of kin has yet been notified.

The couple in their mid-to-late 20s were last seen very close to the summit of Capitol Peak, Steindler said.

“Given where the bodies were found, it is probably they fell off somewhere near (Capitol’s summit),” he said. “Generally speaking, they were found below the summit.”

The couple planned to hike Capitol on Sunday, according to friends, and were reported missing when they did not return Sunday afternoon, though there was some speculation on social media that they might have stayed an extra night to see Monday’s eclipse.

Volunteers with Mountain Rescue Aspen spent Tuesday searching for them.

They are the third and fourth deaths on Capitol Peak this summer.

On Aug. 6, 35-year-old Jeremy Shull of Parker fell from the east side of the ridge between K2 and the Knife Edge. On July 15, Jack Lord, 25, also from Parker died when a boulder he was holding gave way on the ridge between Capitol and Mt. Daly.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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