2 hikers found dead on Capitol Peak in Pitkin County

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PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — Two hikers were found dead on Capitol Peak on Tuesday afternoon, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Aspen couple had tentative plans to return on Sunday after climbing to the top of peak, the sheriff’s office said.

They were reported overdue late Monday morning, but because their plans were tentative and there was no confirmed medical emergency, the urgency to launch a search was not great, the sheriff’s office said.

The urgency increased when the couple had not returned by Monday evening.

A search started Tuesday morning. Witnesses told rescuers it was likely the couple summited the peak on Sunday afternoon but they chose to descend on a different route.

A National Guard helicopter reported seeing the climbers at the bottom of the north face of Capitol Peak. Rescuers were able to reach them and confirm they were dead.

Four people have died on Capitol Peak this season.