Search in Longs Peak Area Continues for Ryan Albert

Photos courtesy NPS.

On Saturday, May 25, a team of two Rocky Mountain National Park climbing rangers conducted a patrol of Longs Peak. While patrolling down the section known as The Trough, rangers found a glove that matched the brand that Ryan Albert was believed to have been wearing. Albert was last seen on October 4, 2018.

On Thursday, May 30, a team of four highly skilled park climbing rangers ascended The Trough and after several hours of searching in this steep winter alpine terrain, located Ryan Albert’s body covered in deep snow at an elevation of approximately 12,300'. This location is approximately 1,000' below The Ledges section of the Keyhole Route (approximately 2,000' below the summit). This area is in winter conditions with deep snow and ice.

During the morning of May 31, rangers completed an on scene investigation and Ryan Albert’s body was recovered by helicopter. His body was transferred to the Boulder County Coroner’s Office. Boulder County Coroner’s office will not release positive identification until completion of an autopsy. Once the investigation is complete more details will be released. Until then, no further information is available.

On October 5, 2018, search efforts began in the Longs Peak area of Rocky Mountain National Park for Ryan Albert after he was reported overdue by a family member. Albert was last seen on October 4, by another park visitor at approximately 10:30 a.m. in the area of Granite Pass heading toward The Keyhole on Longs Peak. Inclement weather that started on October 4, was the beginning of a multi-day weather pattern of extreme conditions including low visibility and fog, thunderstorms and snow showers and freezing temperatures in the 20s and 30s. Search teams faced pockets of deep snow as well as verglas ice. Those winter conditions lasted through the search efforts.

During the first two days of these search efforts in October, in challenging weather and terrain, teams were able to search higher elevations including sections of the Boulder Field, the Keyhole Route, The Loft, Chasm Cirque, North Longs Peak and Boulder Brook. As the snow accumulation and ice continued to build at higher elevations, teams worked lower in the search area throughout the first week. On Friday, October 12, eight days after Albert was last seen, a break in the weather allowed aerial reconnaissance to take place. In addition to searchers looking from the helicopter, footage was taken of high probability areas. Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members spent numerous days reviewing the extensive footage.

Another significant winter storm began late Saturday, October 13, bringing additional snow accumulation at higher elevations. On Thursday, October 18, through Saturday, October 20, teams went back to the upper mountain at the Keyhole and Ledges area and again faced continuing deteriorating conditions including waist and chest deep snow, steep icy slopes and extremely slow travel. On Sunday, October 21, a team traveled to the Chasm Cirque area and visually searched Lamb’s Slide, Mills Glacier, Camel Gully and the Chasm View fall line with binoculars and spotting scopes.

Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members during the previous search efforts in October were Larimer County Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder County, Trans Aero, Northern Colorado Interagency Helitack and Colorado Search and Rescue Board members. When conditions allowed, dog teams from Larimer County Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain Rescue and Front Range Search and Rescue Dogs also assisted.

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