Rescue in Rocky Mountain NP at Ouzel Falls

A woman fell from the top of Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park Thursday and emergency responders faced thunderstorms and hail during her rescue.

Ouzel Falls

The victim, a 41-year-old from New York, was with family members at the time of the accident, according to a park news release. She suffered “multiple traumatic injuries.”

Bystanders in the Wild Basin area of the park removed her from a pool of water at the base of the falls and administered aid.

Park search and rescue team members reached the victim at about 3 p.m. and provided advanced medical care on site. She was carried just under 3 miles, in a wheeled litter, to the Wild Basin trail head and then taken by ambulance to the Estes Park Medical Center.

Thunderstorms and hail hit the area as the rescue was underway. An air response, by helicopter, was not attempted because of the severe weather.
[Local News Story]

 

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Smithsonian Magazine on the Formation of the National Park’s Grizzly Bear Policy

Smithsonian Magazine has an article about the incidents leading up to the National Park Service’s treatment of grizzly bears. These incidents changed Park policy forever.

Glacier National Park’s busiest season came to an abrupt halt in the summer of 1967. In a matter of hours, two grizzly bears had acted as they never had before in the park’s 57-year history. Several miles apart, each bear had mauled a young woman on the same day, in the dark, early hours of August 13. Two 19-year-olds, Julie Helgeson, from Minnesota, and Michele Koons, from California, were both asleep under the big sky of northwest Montana, when grizzly bears found them and carried them off.

Detailed in National Park Service reports and Jack Olsen’s 1969 book Night of the Grizzlies, these incidents marked Glacier’s first fatal bear maulings. The shocking attacks ushered in a new era for the National Park Service’s management of bears. In Glacier Park and in other parks nationwide, the lessons of that summer live on in warning signs, rules and policies created to avoid repeating the mistakes that led to tragedy 50 years ago.
[Read Full Article Here]

Two Mountain Rescues in the Grand Tetons

Grand Teton National Park’s Jenny Lake Rangers recently conducted two overnight search and rescue efforts.

The first rescue operation began around 5:15 p.m. Monday, August 7, when a patrolling ranger in Garnet Canyon was informed by other mountaineers of an accident which had taken place near the saddle of the south fork of the canyon. Carl Miester, 46, of East Windsor, NJ was descending a snow field near the Middle Teton with five others when he slipped, fell, and slid approximately 50 feet on snow before tumbling across 20 feet of rock and sustaining minor injuries. He did not have an ice ax or helmet.

The ranger responded to the scene, assessed Miester’s injuries, and assisted him down to the Meadows backcountry camping zone where Miester spent the night with his party. Another ranger met up with the party the next morning as they descended the trail and assisted them the rest of the way to Lupine Meadows Trailhead.

The second and more complex rescue operation began around 2:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 8 when Ron Sloot, 58, of Colfax, WA and Geoff Mitchell, 35, of Spartanburg, SC called for help. After summiting Mt. Moran around 4:30 p.m. Monday, the two climbers began to descend the commonly-used CMC route. Around 9:00 p.m., after the fourth rappel, they realized they had taken a wrong turn, used an old anchor point, and were now off-route. The climbers spent several hours searching in the dark for a traverse, climb, or rappel out of their predicament before calling Teton Interagency Dispatch Center and being connected with the on-call search and rescue coordinator.

After consulting with the stranded climbers, the coordinator advised they stay in their current location until sunrise. Once it became clear the climbers would not be able to self-rescue in the daylight, rangers prepared the Teton Interagency Contract helicopter for short-haul. Unfortunately, inclement weather precluded use of the helicopter until mid-afternoon.

Around 3:00 p.m., a ranger was inserted to the ledge where the two climbers were waiting. After preparing the climbers for the flight, the ranger and climbers were flown out by short-haul and returned to Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache around 3:30 p.m.
[NPS Story]

 

 

Man Rescued in Rocky Mountain National Park

On Saturday morning, August 5, two hikers came upon a seriously injured man on Pagoda Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 34 year old from Berthoud, Colorado, had apparently fallen approximately 15 to 20 feet. They used their SPOT GPS location device at 9:45 a.m. to notify Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members of the incident.

Due to the reported nature of the man’s injuries, his location in difficult terrain and the time it would take for rescuers to reach him, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members requested assistance from Colorado National Guard to extricate the injured man from his location.

At 12:55 p.m. a Colorado National Guard helicopter lowered a litter and medic to the location. The medic and injured man were then evacuated via a hoist operation, using a winch operated cable. The Colorado National Guard helicopter flew to an alpine tundra site in the Wild Basin area and transferred the patient to a Flight For Life air ambulance that flew the man to St. Anthony’s hospital. Inclement weather during the operation provided additional challenges for air operations.

The aid provided by the two hikers who found the injured man, as well as the updates they provided to Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members, was critical to the patient’s survival.
[NPS Story]

Missing Hiker, Sarah Beadle, Missing in Grand Canyon

The National Park Service is conducting a missing person’s search within Grand Canyon National Park.

Sarah Beadle, 38 of Fort Worth, TX had reservations to stay at the Bright Angel Campground on Tuesday, August 1 but did not arrive. She was hiking down the South Kaibab Trail and her backpack was found near the junction of the South Kaibab Trail and the River Trail. Beadle was hiking with two children ages 10 and 11 who are safe and accounted for.

Beadle is described as Caucasian female, 5’4″, 130 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. She is thought to be wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Beadle is an experienced backpacker and hiker; she last hiked at Grand Canyon in 2002.
[NPS Story]

Wow, there are a lot of questions I have about this one. Sure hope they find her.

UPDATE:

Well, bummer. A new story says she has been found dead.

According to her husband Scott, Dr. [Sarah] Beadle was hiking in the Grand Canyon with two children, ages 10 and 11, when one of the children began feeling dizzy from heat exhaustion after running out of water. Dr. Beadle’s husband says she left the children in a safe location while she went ahead to get water and help.

“Somewhere along the trail, she made a wrong turn and got lost,” Scott says. “The Park Rangers suspect she died of heat exhaustion. Another hiker found [the children], gave them some water and escorted them to the camp. Search and rescue was notified and I was contacted first thing this (Wednesday) morning.”
[Local News Story]