Crews rescue injured climber in Rocky Mountain National Park
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colorado ” Rangers hauled an injured man to safety late Tuesday after he fell while mountaineering in Rocky Mountain National Park and spent 24 hours lying at the base of a glacier before being found.
The 57-year-old Loveland man took a “tumbling fall” down Ptarmigan Glacier near Notchtop Couloir at 11 a.m. Monday, possibly because of an avalanche, park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said.
He stayed there alone, at 11,000 feet, until late the next morning when two backcountry skiers spotted him and used a cell phone to call for help.
The man was conscious but had suffered “numerous injuries,” Patterson said. She didn’t elaborate.
The skiers stayed with the man and gave him fluids, food and warm clothing. The first two park rangers arrived a few hours later.
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Patterson said 75 mph winds and other adverse conditions prevented a helicopter from reaching the scene. So a team of rangers used a wheeled litter to transport the man to the Bear Lake Trailhead, about five miles away.
The rangers started moving the man at 6:30 p.m. and arrived at the trailhead four hours later. From there, the man was being taken by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center. A woman who answered the phone at the hospital early Wednesday declined to comment.
Patterson said the rescue was slowed by the terrain and the snowy, slushy conditions.
The man had been mountaineering alone and wasn’t reported overdue, she said. His name wasn’t released.