Woman found dead after fall from North Maroon Peak’s north face is identified
Rei Hwa Lee, 57, from Front Range was found Tuesday at about 12,600 feet
August 8, 2017
A 57-year-old Front Range woman found Tuesday died on North Maroon Peak when she fell off the mountain's north face, the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said.
Rei Hwa Lee left her Front Range home at 1 a.m. Saturday and arrived in the Maroon Bells parking area about four hours later, her children told sheriff's officials. Her son contacted the sheriff's office Sunday when Lee had not returned.
Her body was found about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday by Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteers, said Michael Buglione of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Searchers were helped by a post on the website 14ers.com when people responded that they saw Lee on her way up the summit Saturday morning, the sheriff's office said. Search teams that went out Monday returned Tuesday with the new information and found her body at about 12,600 feet on the north face.
According to the sheriff's office, two members of Mountain Rescue Aspen and another High Altitude Aviation Training Site (HAATS) team in a Blackhawk helicopter were able to recover Lee and transport her to the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.
It is the second death in the Maroon Bells area this year. Jeffrey Bushroe, 27, who was a soldier at Fort Carson, was found dead May 27 by another hiker.
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According a statement at the time from deputy coroner Eric Hansen, Bushroe, of Tucson, Arizona, died from "hypothermia hours after a tumble he took in the Grand Couloir at the Maroon Bells secondary to confusion from a brain injury."
Another climber died Sunday on Capitol Peak when he fell from the Knife Edge section. His name has not been released but he was a 35-year-old man from The Front Range. Mountain Rescue Aspen is still working on recovering his body.
This is a developing story that will be updated.