Incident Above Loomis Lake
Last Friday afternoon, park rangers were contacted via cell phone by a 31-year-old man who indicated he had fallen an unknown distance while glissading down Gabletop Mountain, which is above Loomis Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. He reported numerous injuries.
The US Forest Service Northern Colorado helicopter used earlier for the body recovery from Longs Peak was utilized for aerial reconnaissance. Using cell phone GPS coordinates, rangers were able to determine his general location below Gabletop Mountain and aerial surveillance confirmed his exact location.
Since the initial call, park rangers were in contact with the man periodically through the night via cell phone.
The man was located in a remote high alpine environment in a steep cirque above Loomis Lake approximately 11,300 feet. Loomis Lake is southwest of Spruce Lake. On Friday, before night fall, a team of four park rangers were flown to Loomis Lake. Equipment was also flown into the general area. These flights occurred in between severe thunderstorms.
That night, the man descended steep snow slopes toward Loomis Lake, which helped rangers have a better chance of reaching and assisting him.
Early Saturday morning, just after midnight, rangers reached 31-year-old Nick Creadon from Golden, Colorado by climbing to his location. Creadon was ambulatory but had life threatening injuries. He greatly aided in his rescue by moving down a steep band of rock, then down a steep snow field toward rangers. Rangers rescued Creadon by lowering him five hundred feet with ropes and then assisted him an additional 700 feet down steep mountainous terrain to Loomis Lake. A paramedic on the park’s rescue team provided advanced life support throughout the incident.
At approximately 8:30 a.m. Creadon was flown to Upper Beaver Meadows Road where he was then taken by Flight for Life to St. Anthony’s Hospital for further treatment.
Park rescue team members feel this was truly a life saving mission. Creadon was extremely fortunate to have cell phone coverage in this remote location with very limited coverage. All park rescue personnel got safely out of the backcountry.