Incident on Mount Ida In Rocky Mountain National Park
At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, August 8, 2009, the Grand County Sheriff’s office received a 911 call and passed the information on to Rocky Mountain National Park dispatch. A 32 year old male, Ranganathan Chitoor Parameswaran, an Indian National living in Lakewood had a 20 foot tumbling, sliding fall near the summit of Mount Ida. The injured man was with a hiking group of eleven people based out of Denver.
Their intent was not to summit Mount Ida, but to descend in to the Gorge Lakes area, which is a steep descent. The accident occurred during the descent.
He suffered a broken leg and cuts and bruises. Two rangers reached the patient at 5:25 p.m. He was located a few hundred feet below the ridgeline of Mount Ida in loose rock and scree. A litter team of seven park rangers headed to the area but were turned back because of nightfall.
Five rangers stayed with the patient overnight, in addition to a person who was hiking with the injured man. Seven people in total spent the night near the summit of Mount Ida. Rangers assessed the situation at first light Sunday morning and determined the man could be carried by a litter to the summit and flown out by rescue helicopter.
Mount Ida (12,880 ft.) is located 4.5 miles from the Milner Pass Trailhead off of Trail Ridge Road. The elevation gain from the trailhead is 2,130 feet.
On Sunday morning, August 9, a seven member litter team, consisting of park staff assisted by Rocky Mountain Rescue, and two park medics, began hiking toward the group who had spent the night below the summit of Mount Ida. The litter team reached the injured man at 9:20 a.m. The group set up a low angle technical rescue to bring the patient 200 feet up toward the summit of Mount Ida to a helicopter landing zone. A medical helicopter from St. Anthony’s Hospital was put on standby. If it was deemed unsafe to land a helicopter due to location and/or weather conditions, then the patient would have been carried out on the litter to the trailhead but weather conditions were favorable and the helicopter rescue was the plan of choice.
At 1:40 p.m. on Sunday, August 9, Ranganathan Chitoor Parameswaran was flown out in stable condition from near the summit of Mount Ida by St. Anthony’s Lifeguard One to St. Anthony Central.
The litter team then hiked back to the trailhead at Milner Pass and arrived out of the backcountry around 4:00 p.m.