Colorado man killed in fall climbing in Wind Rivers

Aug 31, 2017 From staff and wire reports

The body of a man who fell to his death while climbing in the Wind River Mountains has been recovered.

Sublette County sheriff's officials say 54-year-old Michael Sullivan, of Durango, Colorado, fell at least 400 feet Monday evening in the Steeple Peak area.

The Wind Rivers straddle the Fremont-Sublette County boundary.

A woman climbing with him hiked out until she found a group with a satellite phone. Authorities said darkness prevented rescuers from going to the area in a helicopter until Tuesday.

Weather conditions were not favorable. Strong wind prevented them from landing a helicopter in the area until Wednesday.

Officials said that didn't affect a potential rescue because it was apparent Sullivan hadn't survived the fall.

The two climbers made it up the 12,050-foot mountain, but Sullivan lost his footing on the downward climb, which is highly technical and requires rappelling.