PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — A climber who died after a fall at the Maroon Bells on Friday was a head brewer at Denver Beer Co., the company said.
The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office identified the climber as Jason Buehler, 43, of Niwot. On Facebook, Denver Beer Co. said Buehler had been their head brewer.
"There is nothing we can say that can possibly convey the way we are feeling right now. He was our glue. He was our inspiration. He was our energy," the post reads.
Patrick Crawford, co-founder of Denver Beer Co., said he had worked with Buehler for about five years and was a great friend. He said he's still in disbelief and feels like his friend may walk in the door any time.
"Not only was he a great brewer and made so many great beers that were enjoyed by honestly probably millions of people by now, but even more than that, he was a great friend and an awesome dad," Crawford said.
Denver Beer Co. posted that Buehler's friends had set up a GoFundMe to support his wife and three children.
Charlie Berger, co-founder of Denver Beer Co., described Buehler as gregarious and magnetic.
"Through my mind is the loss the whole craft beer community experienced because I wasn’t the only one who knew him, who got to love him," Berger said. "There’s a whole community supporting him and his family and I think that’s incredibly important."
On Friday around 12:30 p.m., the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center received a call from two climbers on the summit of North Maroon Peak who said they had witnessed a solo man fall from the ridgeline while traversing between South Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak. The climbers said they believed the man had fallen between 500 and 1,000 feet down a narrow gully southeast of the North Maroon summit, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.
Just before 1:45 p.m., four Mountain Rescue Aspen teams went into the field to search for the man — two by foot, one by helicopter and one on standby at Maroon Lake with a CareFlight helicopter.
At 2:45 p.m., the rescue team on the helicopter spotted the fallen climber, later identified as Buehler. At 2:54 p.m., rescuers were lowered by a long line from the helicopter to the climber. They confirmed he had died, according to the sheriff's office.
Based on the injuries the man had, the fall was "not survivable," according to sheriff's office.
The rescuers and Buehler's body were hoisted into the helicopter and flown to the Aspen Pitkin County Airport.
The body was then turned over to a Pitkin County Deputy Coroner.
All rescue teams were out of the field by 5:30 p.m.