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Climber from the Denver area dies after fall near Crestone Traverse

CUSTER COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- One climber died and another had to be rescued after a fall near the Crestone Traverse.

According to the Custer County Search and Rescue (SAR), two Denver-area climbers had gone off-route when one of them suffered a fatal fall. The other person tried to reach him, but officials say she wasn't able to ascend or descend safely.

At that point, she called for help and began communicating with the Custer County SAR team.

According to officials, the timing of the communication was critical because of the threat of weather moving into the area.

Still, with helicopter support from DFPC Canon City Helitack, two members of the CCSAR Technical Rope Rescue Team were able to reach the climbers and successfully bring them out of the field.

In a statement on Facebook, the Custer County SAR said they send their "deep condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of the deceased climber and his partner."

The Custer County SAR went on to say, "careful and precise route-finding is imperative when climbing in the Crestone Group as the consequences are extremely high."

However, regardless of skill or experience, officials say backcountry accidents can happen to anyone.

As the monsoon season continues, officials encourage people to check detailed weather forecasts and prepare to change routes in questionable weather conditions.

Custer County SAR recommends carrying two-way communication/GPS devices, cell phones, and extra batteries/charging blocks and leaving a detailed trip itinerary with someone.

The Custer County SAR thanks its partners at Canon City Helitack and Saguache County Search & Rescue for help in the rescue.

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