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]



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]

Rescue in Rocky Mountain National Park

Yesterday morning, a 40-year-old woman from Tennessee fell into the St. Vrain River approximately one mile from the Wild Basin trailhead. She slipped on wet rocks and was swept 150 yards downstream before she was able to pull herself up on a rock and log. Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members were on scene at 10:30. Members of Estes Valley Fire Protection District – Dive and Swiftwater Rescue Team played a critical role in this rescue operation.

Crews on scene got the woman a life jacket and helmet. Crew members hiked to her location on the south side of the St. Vrain River and helped move her to shore. She received medical care on scene. Crews then assisted her across the river, back to the north side, at a suitable location where there were downed logs. She began hiking out and then was carried via a wheeled litter to the Wild Basin Trailhead. She was taken by ambulance to the Estes Park Medical Center at 4 p.m.
[NPS Story]

Busy Saturday at Rocky Mountain National Park

Saturday, June 24, was a busy day in Rocky Mountain National Park. Good news is that there were no fatalities.

a 15-year-old female fell in the St. Vrain River in the Wild Basin area. She tumbled downstream approximately 50 yards over an eight foot waterfall and through significant rapids. Bystanders and family members were able to rescue the girl prior to rangers arriving. She received leg injuries and was carried out via a wheeled litter to the Wild Basin Trailhead where she was taken by ambulance to the Estes Park Medical Center.

Park rangers also assisted an injured 24-year-old male boulderer in the Chaos Canyon area who injured his leg after a fall

a 27-year-old female hiker on the Gem Lake Trail with a knee injury

a 26-year-old male hiker who had a seizure after taking a small fall at Emerald Lake. At 2:30 p.m. park rangers were notified of the incident above Alluvial Fan.

an 18-year-old from Kansas had been rock hopping on the Roaring River when he became stuck on the west side of the river. Park rangers were notified at 2:30 p.m. The young man’s family members were on the east side of the river. Rangers assessed the situation with members of Estes Valley Fire Protection District – Dive and Swiftwater Rescue Team, and after considering the complexity and length of time the rescue would likely take, it was determined that it would be safest to conduct the rescue in the morning. Rangers provided the man with warm clothes, a sleeping bag and food overnight. A ranger stayed overnight on the other side of the river from the young man.

At 5:30 a.m. this morning rescuers gathered and at 7 a.m. the highline operation began. The young man was rescued at approximately 10:20 a.m. Over 20 people were involved in the operation and Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue team greatly appreciates the assistance from Estes Valley Fire Protection District – Dive and Swiftwater Rescue Team.

The NPS story has a large picture of the highline rescue. Impressive stuff! Nice work. Next time you go rock hopping, pay attention to where you’re going and your plan for getting back!

Rocky Mountain National Park Rescue

At 8:30 p.m. Friday night, May 5, park rangers were contacted via cell phone about an incident on the East Inlet Trail on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. A 19-year-old man from Tennessee and two friends were backpacking in the area. They were roughly 3.5 miles from the trailhead, scrambling over steep terrain, boulders and downed trees when a large boulder fell on the man’s leg. The man’s friends were able to free him from under the rock.

Search and Rescue Team members reached the man at approximately 11:30 p.m. The man was located in steep terrain, cliffed out on one side and steep scree on the other. Due to the terrain and darkness, the team of fifteen members stayed put through the night and provided advanced medical care to the injured man.

Because of the nature of the man’s leg injury and the location, park rangers requested assistance from the Colorado High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Program to assist in evacuating the man via a hoist operation, using a winch operated cable. This occurred at 8:15 a.m. this morning. [NPS Story]

Air National Guard going to the rescue.

Hiker’s body found on Longs Peak

The body of a 39-year-old Thornton man was recovered Sunday afternoon after he was reported missing by the friends who he had been attempting to summit Longs Peak with.

The man, who was not identified by name, was last seen at the top of the Loft at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday. He had been winter mountaineering in the area with two friends when he tried to descend down to the trailhead, according to the National Park Service.

When the man’s friends got back to the trailhead later that day, rangers say they noticed his vehicle was still in the parking lot – prompting them to report him missing.

Local News Story

NPS story

The Loft section between Mount Meeker and Longs Peak

Here is a hiker’s description of what The Loft is as well as information about The Loft route up Longs Peak:

The actual loft area that gives this route its name is the wide-open flat plateau that separates Mt. Meeker and Longs Peak. Regardless of season, due to the somewhat uniqueness of this small area, The Loft is usually a windy place. Since Longs Peak carries so much prominence and is anchored by the equally lofty Mt. Meeker to the southeast, this area, though definitely NOT a col, functions in accordance by funneling the winds across its flat expanse. Exceptions in weather always exist of course, but the norm is to expect windy conditions on this plateau.