Thursday, August 1, 2013

Three Visitors Rescued in Three Simultaneous Incidents in Rocky Mountain National Park

NPS Digest is reporting this morning that Rocky Mountain National Park rangers had to respond to three separate incidents at the same time, each one involving a visitor suffering significant lower leg injuries.

On Thursday, July 25th, while climbing on The Left Book formation on Lumpy Ridge, a 23-year-old woman sustained a serious lower leg injury when she took a 20-foot fall on the lower section of the White Whale route. A mountain guide from Colorado Mountain School, the park climbing concessioner, was nearby and provided assistance.

Responding rangers climbed to her location, provided advance life support care, and lowered her to the base of the route. A belayed, low-angle litter lowering and wheeled litter evacuation brought her to Black Canyon meadow, where she was transferred to a ground ambulance. Thunderstorms with rain and lightning added to the challenge of the rescue, precluding use of a helicopter.

Meanwhile, a 45 year-old man was hiking off-trail on the northeast shore of Lake Haiyaha when he took a short fall off a boulder. Unable to walk due to an ankle injury, he notified the park communications center via cell phone and requested assistance. Due to the rugged and challenging terrain along the shores of this lake, responding rangers carried an inflatable raft to the scene, floated the man across the lake, and then carried him a short distance to the designated trail. From here, he was transported to the trailhead via horse.

While resolving the Lake Haiyaha incident, rangers also responded to a motorcycle accident near the east side NPS utility area. The operator of the motorcycle sustained serious lower leg injuries when he dropped his bike while maneuvering a turn. He was treated on scene by rangers then transferred to a ground ambulance.


No comments: