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Climber’s body recovered on Blanca Peak in southern Colorado

 57-year-old Vaughn Fetzer was reported missing Sept. 20

DURANGO — Search and rescue crews have recovered the body of a Durango man who died while climbing Blanca Peak in southern Colorado.

The Durango Herald reports 57-year-old Vaughn Fetzer was reported missing Sept. 20, and his body was found in treacherous terrain on the state’s fourth highest peak Monday.

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

The Blanca Massif, as seen from the Huerfano River Valley floor near the Lily Lake trailhead on Sept. 27. Vaughan Fetzer reportedly approached the peak from the Lily Lake trailhead. (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Alamosa County Sheriff Robert Jackson says search crews endured sub-freezing temperatures on the 14,351-foot (4,374-meter) peak, and one member was injured when multiple large boulders slipped loose and pinned his leg. Fellow team members removed the boulders and rappelled the injured man down several scree fields to an ambulance.

Fetzer was a nurse at Mercy Regional Medical Center and worked on the medical surgical floor, according to work colleague Tawny Borkowski.

Vaughn Fetzer (Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office)

“Vaughn is a loving, happy, energetic man with lots of love for the outdoors along with his passion in nursing,” Borkowski said in an email to The Durango Herald before the body was found.

Investigators have not said how Fetzer died.


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