Family: Carle doctor died on Colorado mountain as result of a fall

Family: Carle doctor died on Colorado mountain as result of a fall

ESTES PARK, Colo. — A 60-year-old Urbana man was found dead Friday morning on a Colorado mountain.

Jay Yambert, a Carle physician and avid hiker, had been missing since Tuesday.

“The preliminary indication is that Jay died as a result of a fall,” his family said in a statement distributed by close family friend Mike Metzler.

Yambert was found by a Rocky Mountain National Park search team Friday morning at an elevation of 12,600 feet in “extremely steep, rugged terrain,” said Kyle Patterson, a spokesman for the national park, but rough weather is hampering the investigation and recovery.

“Weather and slope conditions did not allow rescuers to immediately get to Jay,” Metzler said. “Once they were able to safely move to him, they confirmed Jay had died.”

The recovery will begin Saturday, Patterson said in a news release, and the investigation is ongoing.

“Jay’s family is devastated by the news of Jay’s death, but are thankful for the efforts of all the searchers and rescue personnel who have spent the last several days risking their own safety looking for Jay,” Metzler’s statement said. “The immediate family once again expresses their sincere gratitude for the prayers and support they have felt from family, friends, co-workers, and others across the country.”

Metzler, who is the Mahomet police chief, said Yambert “lived life to the fullest.”

“I know that’s a cliche, but he pushed himself intellectually and physically and did a lot of amazing things,” he said. “He will truly be missed.”

According to the national park’s news release, Yambert apparently began hiking at 2 p.m. Sunday from the trailhead to the summit of Longs Peak, which is about 50 miles northwest of Denver and the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park at 14,259 feet above sea level.

After Yambert’s family notified park rangers Tuesday that he was overdue, his rental car was located that night at the peak’s trailhead.

A rescue team began an extensive ground and aerial search Wednesday, and park staff spoke with visitors who saw Yambert on Monday along the Keyhole Route, Patterson said. The visitors also said the weather had been poor, with ice, sleet, rain and strong winds.

Metzler said earlier this week that Yambert was an experienced hiker who had previously climbed Longs Peak.

In July 2014, he was rescued by park officials on the same path.

The National Park Service cautions climbers about the dangers of Longs Peak and the Keyhole Route to its summit.

“The Keyhole Route is not a hike,” its website says. “It is a climb that crosses enormous sheer vertical rock faces, often with falling rocks, requiring scrambling, where an unroped fall would likely be fatal.”

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