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Solo hiker falls approximately 900 feet to her death near summit of Capitol Peak

Climber killed by falling rocks in southwestern Larimer County
Climber killed by falling rocks in southwestern Larimer County 00:14

The body of a Denver woman was recovered at Capitol Peak after a hiking party witnessed her fall several hundred feet Saturday morning.

Someone in the hiking party called 911 just before 8 a.m. to report a hiker who fell after a rock she was holding onto gave out, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office. Capitol Peak has an elevation of 14,137 feet and is about 14 miles west of Aspen, Colo.

Capitol Peak is one of the most dangerous mountains to climb in Colorado. CBS

Mountain Rescue Aspen crews convened and were given the location of her body by the witness who initially called 911. Officials theorize she fell from the route that connects the knife edge to the Capitol Peak summit down to Pierre Lakes Basin.

A team of Mountain Rescue Aspen rescuers was flown to K2, a nearby 13,664-foot peak, to establish communication and assess conditions, while another team was flown to Pierre Lakes Basin to recover the woman's body.

Her body was removed just before 3 p.m. and brought to the Pitkin County Coroner's Office, which will identify the woman and notify her next of kin. Until then, officials won't publicly identify her.

Capitol Peak is considered one of Colorado's most difficult mountains to climb with "extreme exposure and loose, crumbling rock," the sheriff's office said.

In 2017, five climbers died there within a six-week span. And last year, officials decided that the body of a hiker who died would have to remain there indefinitely after a rescuer was seriously injured while trying to recover the man's body.

"We're trying to get people to slow down a little bit," Pitkin County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Parker Lathrop told CBS News Colorado. "This should be the crown jewel, and if you're not ready for it -- if your gut tells you to stop -- the mountain will still be there (next time)."

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