Colorado is known for its outdoor activities, naming hiking. The state is home to 58 mountains that reach over 14,000 feet. Locals refer to these mountains as 14er's and hiking them is an activity that many people try at least once so that they can say they accomplished the incredible eat.
It should be stated that these mountains are not without danger. Because they are so incredibly high storms can hit the peaks very quickly. There are numerous places where you can slip and fall, and if you are ill-prepared or even simply unlucky, it can be fatal. This danger was primely demonstrated by what happened in Telluride, Colorado this past weekend.
Patrick Eells was initially reported missing last Sunday evening. According to reports, he told his girlfriend that he was going to hide from Telluride, run on the Sneffles Highline Trail, and ideally summit Mt. Emma.
Mt. Emma is considered a Class 3 climb. A class 3 climb is described by the Yosemite Decimal System as “Scrambling with increased exposure. Handholds are necessary. Falls may be Fatal."
Unfortunately, it appears that this was the case for Patrick, as a search took place after he was reported missing and his body was finally found in the upper Mill Creek Basin area below Gilpin Peak. It appears that he fell on the Dallas-Gilpin ridge about 3 1/2 miles north of Telluride.
The San Miguel County Sheriff, Bill Masters, extended his condolences to the family and loved ones of Patrick Eells who had been described as an experienced mountaineer. Patrick was only twenty-nine years old and was seemingly in the prime of his life.
This story is absolutely heartbreaking to me, as someone who has not only climbed some of these mountains but has loved ones who go out almost every single weekend.
Do you believe it can be too risky to deal with nature and the mountains that can be so unpredictable and terrifying at times?