Six Incidents In Rocky Mountain National Park On Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Multiple incidents in Rocky Mountain National Park, several occurring concurrently, kept rangers and other park staff busy throughout Tuesday, August 14. Two male hikers, 23 and 24-years-old from Nederland, Colorado, inadvertently climbed the North Chimney (low 5th class climbing) on the lower east face of Longs Peak, and became stranded without equipment on Broadway Ledge. Following a radio report of the situation from a Colorado Mountain School guide, rangers responded with technical gear and lowered both men about 600 to 700 feet onto Mills Glacier. From Mills Glacier they were assisted down the glacier and through scree/talus until they were back on a designated trail. Attempting to climb 14,259 foot Longs Peak via the standard Keyhole Route which traverses and ascends the north, west and then south side of the peak they mistakably followed headlamps worn by a party of technical climbers in the early morning hours up the lower east face instead.
A woman (age unknown) from Chicago, Illinois, fell off a horse near the Finch Lake Trailhead. She suffered a lower leg injury and was assisted to the trailhead and transported from the park by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center.
A 74-year old woman from Chicago, Illinois, travelling over Trail Ridge Road via tour bus suffered a medical emergency and was flown from the west side of the park by St. Anthony Flight for Life to St. Anthony Central Hospital.
A 27-year-old male from Boulder, Colorado, suffered a significant lower leg injury while hiking near Lake Haiyaha and was evacuated by litter team to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. He was then taken in a personal vehicle for further medical care (photo at left of the carry-out).
A juvenile male from Texas (hometown unknown) apparently tripped while hiking down the trail on Deer Mountain. He suffered a significant injury that warranted a litter carry-out to an awaiting Estes Park Medical Center ambulance at the trailhead. After transporting the patient to the park’s helibase he was flown from the park via St. Anthony Flight for Life to Children’s Hospital.
A female hiker (age unknown) from Brooklyn, NY sustained a lower leg injury and was assisted by rangers down the Dream Lake Trail to Bear Lake. She was then taken in a personal vehicle for further medical care.
Over fifty park personnel participated in the resolution of these incidents. Park rangers were assisted by trail crew employees from the Southeast Utah and Southern Arizona Groups, who were in the park assisting with trail projects, and members of the American Conservation Corp working at Rocky. Outside agency assistance was provided by Grand Lake Fire, Grand County EMS/Ambulance, Estes Park Medical Center Ambulance, St. Anthony’s Flight for Life, and Colorado Mountain School.