Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lost Hiker Found in Longs Peak and Mount Meeker Area

On Monday morning Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified by a family member that Jay Yambert, 56, of Champaign, Illinois, was overdue. Yambert had planned to summit Longs Peak on the east side, via The Loft on Sunday, July 27th. At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday he was in touch with his family and indicated that he would be late getting back to the trailhead. They contacted the park on Monday morning when they didn't hear from him.

At 8:45 a.m. on Monday members of the park's Search and Rescue team departed the trailhead and began to retrace what they assumed to be Yambert's intended route. Yambert contacted family members at 11:45 a.m. and indicated that he was uninjured, but due to severe weather and nightfall he was forced to spend an unexpected night on Longs Peak.

Rangers requested assistance for aerial surveillance from the Northern Colorado Helitek helicopter, which assisted on incidents on Friday and Saturday in the park. The helicopter had been grounded due to severe weather and heavy fog, but began an aerial search effort later on Monday afternoon.

Aerial searchers located Yambert below Peacock Pool in the Roaring Fork drainage at roughly 4:00 p.m. Nearby rangers reached Yambert on foot only fifteen minutes later, and provided him with food and water. Yambert declined evacuation by helicopter and medical evaluation, and indicated that he wanted to hike out on his own. Rangers led him back to the trail and gave him directions to the trailhead.

Yambert now believes he may have been on Mount Meeker.


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