MONTROSE – The missing hiker who suffered what the National Park Service said was an apparent fall at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park last week was identified Monday as 52-year-old Marion Byrd Gamble of Winter Springs, Fla.
Gamble's body was recovered Friday, April 12, nearly 1,000 feet below the canyon's south rim near the Red Truck Draw/Tomichi area, according to the NPS and Montrose County Coroner Dr. Thomas Canfield.
Conditions had been too hazardous and slick to recover Gamble's body after its discovery, on April 9, after Gamble was reported overdue in returning from a permitted day trip within the park on Saturday, April 6.
After finding Gamble's vehicle on April 7, rangers retraced the hiker's route, locating his body two days later.
"Initial investigation indicates the backpacker may have sustained a significant fall in an area adjacent to his proposed route," according to a NPS news release.
Late-season winter weather had reduced visibility enough for rangers to call off the technical recovery until Friday, when park rangers and members of the Black Canyon National Park Technical Search and Rescue team were able to employ a "multiple rope haul system" for the recovery.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Canfield said autopsy results revealed the cause of death to be multiple traumatic injuries secondary to a fall. The matter of death is accidental.
POSTED THURSDAY, APRIL 11 at 1:18 p.m.
Conditions Too Slick to Recover Hiker’s Body in Black Canyon
Identity of Victim Has Not Been Released
MONTROSE – Conditions remain too hazardous and "slick" to recover the body of a hiker in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The hiker has been missing since Saturday.
According to a news release issued on Tuesday, park rangers initiated search efforts for an overdue backpacker on Sunday and located a body on Tuesday. However, with snow and winter weather this week, rangers have not been able to recover the body found some one thousand feet below the canyon's South Rim.
"It's still too slick," said NPS spokesperson Sandra Snell-Dobert. "We're waiting for right window of weather to allow our rangers back into that area."
The backpacker had obtained a backcountry permit indicating he planned to exit the park on Saturday.
After finding the backpacker's car Sunday, rangers retraced the person's intended route.
"Initial investigation indicates the backpacker may have sustained a significant fall in an area adjacent to his proposed route," according to the news release.
Late season winter weather had reduced visibility enough for rangers to call off the technical recovery.
The National Park Service is coordinating an investigation and recovery with the Montrose County Sheriff's office along with the Montrose County's Coroner's office.
The identity of the victim is being withheld pending identity confirmation and notification of family members.