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Friend: Climber apologized for fatal accident

7:24 PM, May 8, 2007   |    comments
Photo courtesy 14ers.com
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David Worthington, 38, died after he was injured and stranded atop Humboldt Peak on Sunday night.

"He kept telling me that day that he was so sorry that he put me in that situation and I'm going to miss being with him," said Caroline Moore.

Moore was with Worthington when he fell. She went to get help.

Search and rescue crews say they found him alive around 10:30 a.m. on Monday but it took several hours to transport him down the mountain to a place where the Flight For Life helicopter could land.

Rescuers were not able to bring Worthington to the helicopter until shortly after 5 p.m. and he was then airlifted to Parkview hospital in Pueblo where he died.

The Custer County Sheriff's Office says Worthington was stranded above 12,000 feet after dislocating his right shoulder and right hip while climbing Sunday, and was forced to spend the night on the mountain.

Worthington's climbing friends tell 9NEWS he was a very active member of the Colorado climbing community centered around the Web site 14ers.com.

Most notably, Worthington had climbed every 14er in Colorado. His friends tell 9NEWS Worthington had a legendary wit and more friends than most people can imagine.

Rescuers say they left to try and rescue him at about midnight, but had to wait until daylight to start up the mountain due to adverse weather conditions and avalanche danger. It snowed overnight on the mountain, leaving it very icy.

Worthington apparently fell about 200 feet after slipping.

The official cause of his death has not yet been released.

Moore says she is not going to let his death stop her from getting back on the mountain.

"I can't wait to get back up there and know that when I'm up there on a summit, I'm closer to him and he'll always be with me," she said.

Humboldt Peak is 14,064 feet. It is located in the Sangre de Cristo wilderness area, about 15 miles southwest of Westcliffe.

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