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Teen Dies On Little Bear

National guard helicopter crash lands en route to rescue teen climber after fall

One of Colorado’s deadliest fourteeners just got deadlier: On Tuesday, June15, 18-year-old Kevin Hayne died after falling on 14,037-foot Little Bear. He had been climbing through the Hourglass, an area known for dangerous rockfall and falling potential, when he fell. After the alleged malfunction of their SPOT devices, his climbing partner hiked out to get help. He posted an account on the 14ers.com message board:

Things went from bad to worse when a rotor blade from the Chinook rescue chopper clipped the edge of Blanca peak, forcing a hard landing. No one was injured, but by the time rescue crews reached Hayne, he had already passed away.

By all accounts, Hayne was an experienced mountaineer, but the Hourglass can be particularly precarious for anyone, and new variables leave little room for error. That morning, both climbers reported finding verglas frozen to the rock.

Condolences to the Hayne family. Donations in his name can be made to his high school or the SAR teams involved in his attempted recovery.

—Ted Alvarez