CRESTONE— An Air Force officer reported missing July 24 was found deceased July 27 after failing to return from a climbing expedition in the Kit Carson/Challenger Point area of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Saguache County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a 911 call from family members July 24 who told dispatchers Dan Wallick, 41, had texted family members after completing his climb Wednesday, but that was the last they heard from him.
Saguache County Search and Rescue sent out a request for assistance from various agencies in the region Thursday morning, July 25. Search and rescue teams spread out along the major trail systems and all pathways leading up to Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point, two 14-ers frequented by climbers.
A helicopter and aircraft experienced technical difficulties searching for Wallick in the steep terrain, The Colorado Springs Gazette reported. According to Fremont Search and Rescue, rain, hail and lightning suspended the search Friday. Wallick’s body was located Saturday by a Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control helicopter when the search resumed but could not be recovered until Sunday, Custer County Search and Rescue reported on its website.
The website also provided the following list of agencies who took part in the recue effort: Saguache County Search and Rescue, Baca Grande Volunteer Fire Department, Custer County Search and Rescue (CCSAR), Western Mountain Rescue Team, Fremont Search and Rescue, Douglas County Search and Rescue, Alpine Rescue Team, US Forest Service, Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), Colorado Search and Rescue (CSAR), leadership from his assigned command, as well as aerial assets from Flight for Life, Buckley Air Force Base Colorado Army National Guard (COANG), and Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (CO DFPC) aircraft.
According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Wallick was a program manager in the Air Force from the greater Omaha, Neb., area. He is survived by his wife and two children.