A man was found dead Monday afternoon after suffering an apparent fall while hiking near Telluride, the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies identified the man killed as Patrick Eells, a 29-year-old resident of Telluride. He died from traumatic injuries, deputies said.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Eells who so clearly was in the prime of his life,” said San Miguel Sheriff Bill Masters.
Eells left home for his solo hike Sunday morning, telling his girlfriend he was going to hike to Sneffels Highline and possibly summit Mount Emma, authorities said. He was reported missing when he hadn’t returned home by 11 p.m.
A search and rescue mission was launched early Monday morning, using multiple teams and aircraft.
Sheriff Masters wishes to thank the deputies & SAR volunteers, Mountain Blade Runner, Olathe Spray, & Telluride Airport for their efforts in today's mission for a missing hiker. "We are fortunate to have the expertise & resources available with our staff, volunteers, and (more) pic.twitter.com/sF3ztci34Q— San Miguel Sheriff (@SheriffAlert) June 1, 2021
After several hours of searching, Eells was found about 2 p.m. in the upper Mill Creek Basin area below Gilpin Peak, deputies said. Officials believe he fell while hiking the ridge between Dallas Peak and Gilpin Peak.
Deputies said Eells was an experienced mountaineer who often went on hiking trips alone.
The search and rescue effort included the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, Mountain Blade Runner Helicopters, Olathe Spray Services and the Telluride Airport.
"We are fortunate to have the expertise and resources with our staff, volunteers and regional partners to safely and efficiently accomplish a very difficult and technical mission,” Masters said. “We were all hoping for a better outcome."