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Rescue Underway In Rocky Mountain National Park

 A fifty-seven year old male was discovered at 11:00 a.m. this  morning at the base of Ptarmigan Glacier near Notchtop Couloir in  Rocky Mountain National Park by two backcountry skiers. The men were  able to contact park dispatch via cell phone at approximately 11:45  a.m. The fifty-seven year old male had taken a tumbling fall  (distance unknown) yesterday, Monday, May 11, at 11:00 a.m. while  mountaineering in the area. An avalanche possibly caused the fall. 

The victim had been lying at the base of Ptarmigan Glacier for twenty- four hours when the two Good Samaritans discovered him. 

The location of the victim is approximately 5 miles from the Bear  Lake Trailhead.  A hasty team of two rangers reached the victim at  3:30 p.m. He is conscious and has suffered numerous injuries. There  are additional rangers responding to the scene. The victim is located  at 11,000 feet, above treeline, and winds are reported at 75 miles  per hour. 

Due to the conditions and location, a helicopter  evacuation is not possible. Therefore, a litter carry out will take place. The victim was alone  and he had not been reported as overdue. The two men who were skiing  in the area saw the victim from a distance but initially assumed he  was part of the rocky terrain until they got nearer.

The two men moved the victim from the avalanche prone terrain. They  have rendered aid to the victim by giving him warm clothing, fluids  and food.

They continue to stay with the victim and likely saved his life. There are thirteen park staff involved. The carry out has not begun  yet. Due to the terrain and snow/slush conditions it will take hours  to bring the victim to the trailhead. 

At this point we are not  releasing the names of the victim or the two Good Samaritans. The  victim is from Loveland, Colorado. We do not know the hometowns of  the other two.

Comments (1)

  • CSA

    Hopefully, the 5/12/09 rescue from Ptarmigan Glacier will soon find success. The good fortune of the distressed hiker being discovered and cared for by two backcountry skiiers (with cell phone) is undoubtedly a fortuitous coincidence. Also encouraging optimism for a successful rescue is the timely assistance provided by the US National Park Rangers. May positive possibilities and victorious conclusion reign this week at Ptarmigan. csa 5/13/09 Wednesday
    Colorado USA

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