Steamboat Point

SHERIDAN — A woman has died after falling off Steamboat Point in the Bighorn Mountains. 

Sheridan resident Calli Aust, 28, died after falling more than 200 feet while on a planned sunrise hike with her husband Tuesday morning. 

Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Levi Dominguez said his office received a report at around 5:50 a.m. of a female who had fallen off of Steamboat Point. Aust was later found on the southwest side of Steamboat Point. 

The reporting party was not sure where Aust was and cellphone service remained an issue, so SCSO deputies responded to the site, along with Dayton Fire-Rescue, Sheridan County Search and Rescue and Sheridan Fire-Rescue, attempting to locate the reporting party and victim. 

The couple made it to the top of Steamboat Point and, for unknown reasons, the victim fell and landed at the base of Steamboat Point, where she was found by her husband and rescue crews, according to SCSO's Dominguez.

At this point in the investigation, Dominguez stated in a press release Wednesday, there are no indications of foul play and the death is being considered accidental. The investigation is being led by SCSO with assistance from Wyoming Highway Patrol and Bighorn National Forest law enforcement. The Sheridan County Coroner's Office is conducting a concurrent investigation. 

Steamboat Point is an abandoned fire lookout in the Bighorn National Forest. There is an old pipe rail just west of what remains of the building's concrete footers, BNF Public Affairs Officer Sara Kirol said. 

"It is not a safe barrier, but merely a remnant of the lookout tower," Kirol said of Steamboat Point's fire lookout remains.

Kirol said there are no safety measures specifically at Steamboat Point, which is typical for all high, steep locations and undeveloped sites on the forest. 

When climbing wild, natural areas like Steamboat, Kirol reminds recreators there can be significant cliff edges surrounding most of the uplift that makes up Steamboat Point.

"Cliff edges are unstable and there are a lot of loose rocks on the top of these high places," Kirol said. "Standing or sitting near or on the edge of cliff faces is very risky, no matter the location."

Responding agencies included the above listed agencies, in addition to Wyoming Highway Patrol, Rocky Mountain Ambulance and U.S. Forest Service personnel.

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