Thor Hallingbye's body was found near Gannett Peak, Wyoming's tallest mountain, Aug. 16. Photo: Buckrail

LANDER, Wyo. — Authorities are still investigating the death of a 41-year-old climber and anesthesiologist whose body was found near Gannett Peak two days after the man was reported missing, but initial observations suggest his death was a tragic accident.

Thor Hallingbye was reported missing near Wyoming’s highest peak Aug. 14. He became separated from his group near Gannett and failed to return to base camp that night, according to reports from the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office. His body was found two days later on Gannett Glacier. An autopsy is still being conducted to determine Hallginbye’s cause of death, but it seemed to be due to a fall, Sublette County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

“This appears to be a tragic climbing accident, and our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Hallingbye,” said Public Information Officer Sergeant Travis Bingham.

Hallingbye’s body was recovered via a Tip Top Search and Rescue short haul operation and airlifted to the Lander airport. The Fremont County Coroner’s Office is investigating his death.

“Even though it isn’t the outcome we had hoped for, the collaborative efforts of our Tip Top Search and Rescue volunteers, the Bridger Teton National Forest, the Shoshone National Forest, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, Fremont County Coroners Office, and the outpouring of help from backcountry hikers, we were able to bring closure to the family by brining Mr. Hallingbye home,” said Sublette County Sheriff KC Lehr in a statement. “I can never thank our Search and Rescue volunteers enough for their invaluable service. This was a very technical rescue. If it weren’t for the expertise of our pilot and the short haul crew, this recovery may not have been possible. My deepest condolences to the Hallingbye and Colson families.”

Hallingbye was an anesthesiologist and pain specialist at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, according to the Associated Press.

Avatar photo

Buckrail @ Shannon

Shannon is a Wyoming-raised writer and reporter. She just completed a master's in journalism from Boston University. Jackson shaped her into an outdoorswoman, but a love for language and the human condition compels her to write. She believes there's no story too small to tell nor adventure too small to take.