ASSOCIATED PRESS, STATE NEWSPAPER
ASPEN, Colorado – A 32-year-old Madison man died from a fall as he attempted to climb a notoriously dangerous peak near Aspen, Colo. Earlier this week, officials said, while that three rescuers trying to reach it on Wednesday were injured in a “rock avalanche” evidently caused by other climbers.
Kelly McDermott was reported missing after failing to return from a 14,137-foot ascent of Capitol Peak on Sunday.
His body was spotted by a search helicopter in a precarious location about 500 feet below the Knife Edge, a ridge that leads to the final ascent to the top of the mountain. Due to the location, it may take some time to recover his body, Pitkin County Deputy Sheriff Alex Burchetta told The Aspen Times.
McDermott’s uncle Cyril McDermott said the news of his nephew’s death came as a shock to the whole family.
Young McDermott had worked as a respiratory therapist at UW Health since 2015, Cyril McDermott said, and contracted COVID-19 while working in intensive care. His case was mild and he was cleared after a few weeks in isolation.
When Kelly wasn’t working he would head west and come back with stories to tell, his uncle said.
“He was a very adventurous guy,” he said. “He was always on the move; wasn’t the type to sit down and watch late night movies or that sort of thing.