Monument man dies on Mt. Antero

Special to The Tribune
Posted

Wayne Kirkbride, 61, of Monument died in a hiking accident this past week in Chaffee County.

A retired Lt. Col. in the U.S. Special Forces, Kirkbride was climbing Mt Antero, when he was last seen on Sunday, Sept. 25. Kirkbride was staying at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort with his wife. There was a military social function going on over the weekend that had brought the couple to the area.

At 1:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon Kirkbride left to hike up Mt. Antero. His wife called the sheriff's office when he didn't return later that day.

On Monday morning, Chaffee County Search and Rescue ground crews went looking for him. A Chaffee County Sheriff's Office deputy found his car at the Cascade Hill trailhead.

Four teams of hikers descending Mt Antero had seen no sign of him. Search dogs were dispatched to the area Tuesday morning, Sept. 27, and reportedly picked up a scent. The Army National Guard also sent a helicopter to help with the search.

According to a report in the Denver Post the pilot of the Army helicopter spotted Kirkbride’s body around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office stated that it appeared he had fallend from the crest of a steep slope.

According to his wife, Kirkbride was an exceptionally skilled otudoors man and had previously climbed 18 14ers. He was properly equipped for his recent attempt to climb Antero and considered extremely fit.

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