Body of Rocky Mountain National Park climbing victim recovered
Grand County, CO Colorado
Rocky Mountain National Park personnel on Sunday retrieved the body of a man who died while ice climbing Saturday.
On Saturday afternoon, Nov. 20, visitors notified Park rangers via cell phone of the fatal accident, which occurred on the “All Mixed Up” ice climbing route above Mills Lake on Thatchtop Mountain. The victim was part of a two-person climbing party. His partner was uninjured.
The identity of the victim, a 42-year-old Denver man, is expected to be released later on Monday.
Thatchtop Mountain is located between the Loch Vale and Glacier Gorge drainages. Due to the remote location, difficult terrain, limited daylight hours and weather conditions, it was determined that the body-recovery operations would begin Sunday.
At approximately 5 a.m. Sunday, a park technical rescue team left the Glacier Gorge Trailhead en route to the scene. They reached the victim at 10:15 a.m.
Additional teams involved consist of park personnel assisted by members of Rocky Mountain Rescue and Larimer County Search and Rescue. In all, about 25 people were involved in the effort.
Mills Lake is roughly 3 miles from the trailhead. The base of the climb “All Mixed Up” is approximately 1,200 feet above the lake on Thatchtop Mountain and is in extremely difficult and dangerous terrain. It is steep, with loose talus, ice and unconsolidated snow.
Winter storm conditions made the recovery even more challenging.
The incident is under investigation, and the “All Mixed Up” climb is closed until the operations are completed.
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