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Conifer's Steven Sprowles dies climbing North Maroon Peak

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Posted at 8:29 AM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 10:29:55-04

PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. -- A 68-year-old climber from Conifer is dead after a fall in the Maroon Bells area, deputies said.

The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said they got an SOS message from a personal locator device at 7:48 p.m. Wednesday.

Deputies said when they found the sender, 30-year-old Wesley Trimble, he told them his climbing partner, 68-year-old Steven Sprowles, took a bad fall and died.

Trimble was able to descend with the help of two other climbers, deputies said.

Officials said a team from the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen hope to recover Sprowles' body on Thursday.

The Maroon Bells are 14er's -- peaks taller than 14,000 feet high.

"These iconic peaks are rated among the most difficult to climb in Colorado," the Forest Service says on its website. "Trail signs refer to 'The Deadly Bells' and warns would-be climbers of 'downsloping, loose, rotten and unstable' rock that 'kills without warning.' Extreme caution is advised. These are not peaks for novice climbers."

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