Climber dies in rockfall descending Snowmass Mountain

By Real Vail
Real AspenJuly 24, 2011

A 25-year-old man died from injuries he sustained from a rockfall on Snowmass Mountain today.

When the rockfall occurred, Sean A. Wylam, who recently moved to Highlands Ranch near Denver, was on the southwest aspect of the 14,099-foot peak, which is not to be confused with the ski area of the same name.

A photo Sean Wylam posted of himself on top of Snowmass Mountain early Sunday.

At 9:55 a.m., Pitkin County authorities were alerted that Wylam was injured. About an hour later, a Flight for Life helicopter began lifting emergency personnel onto Snowmass Mountain, which is the 34th tallest peak in Colorado. At 1 p.m., rescuers made contact with Wylam, working to stabilize him at the scene, a sheriff's office statement said. CPR was initiated on the Flight for Life helicopter en route to Aspen Valley Hospital at 3:40 p.m. and continued upon arrival at the hospital for about 30 minutes, according to the sheriff's statement.

Snowmass Mountain is west of Aspen and southwest of Snowmass Village. It lies along the border between Pitkin and Gunnison counties and within the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of the White River National Forest.

Earlier Sunday morning, Wylam had apparently reached the summit of Snowmass Mountain, posting a photo on Facebook of himself up top along with the words: "On Snowmass ... now to get back down." He also uploaded other photos from his trek up the 14er, depicting snow and rocks, using his Blackberry.

Wylam recently moved to Colorado. He is from Centralia, Wash.

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