Rescue Incident Near Sky Pond
On Saturday, June 28, Paul Lambert, 21, from Eagle River, Alaska, climbed Andrews Glacier in Rocky Mountain National Park. As he was traversing around a knife’s edge between Powell Peak and Thatchtop, Lambert slipped approximately 5 feet then tumbled and slid an additional 5 feet injuring his arm. He found himself in a location where he was cliffed out; unable to move up or down. Lambert activated a personal locator beacon (PLB) at 7:45 p.m. Lambert stayed overnight at this location above Sky Pond, at roughly 12,000 feet in elevation in a steep area with scree and loose rock. He had extra clothing and an emergency blanket in addition to other gear.
Initially, the PLB showed several possible locations. At 7:15 a.m. on Sunday, June 29, rangers were able to speak with Lambert and had him call 911 from his cell phone to enable the GPS on his phone to narrow down his location, which was on the east side of the Continental Divide above Sky Pond.
A hasty team of search and rescue members left the Glacier Gorge Trailhead early Sunday morning. One team member was flown to the top of Thatchtop. Members reached Lambert at approximately 12:15. His condition was assessed and rescue members began rigging a technical lower through a steep section. They began to descend at approximately 4:00 p.m. When they reached Sky Pond, at approximately 7:15 p.m. conditions were not conducive for helicopter operations.
Rescue team members and Lambert walked out the remaining five miles, reaching the Glacier Gorge Trailhead at 9:45 p.m. He was taken by a family member to seek further medical assistance. Over 40 personnel were involved. Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members were assisted by Rocky Mountain Rescue, Larimer County Search and Rescue and Northern Colorado Helitack.