Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Numerous Incidents Recorded Last Month in Rocky Mountain National Park

On Sunday afternoon, August 20, at 2:45 p.m. park rangers received an emergency call from climbers on the Petit Grepon in Rocky Mountain National Park. One of the climbers, a 28 year old male from Kennesaw, Georgia, sustained a 15 foot fall onto a ledge while climbing. He was approximately 700 feet up the climbing route at an elevation of approximately 12,200 feet in elevation. The man sustained numerous injuries from the blunt force of his fall. He was part of a group of three climbers. Shortly thereafter, the man was assisted by five climbers who were not affiliated with his group. They lowered him approximately 600 feet, which greatly assisted with rescue efforts. At 5 p.m. Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue team members arrived on scene and assisted the man down to a ledge approximately 20 feet above the talus slope. The man received advanced medical care from a park paramedic. The man and park search and rescue team members spent the night at that location. On Monday, August 21, at 6:30 a.m. Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members, assisted by Rocky Mountain Rescue, conducted an approximate 1000 foot technical rope lower over the steep talus slope between the base of the Petit Grepon and Sky Pond. At approximately 10:15 a.m. the man was flown from Sky Pond (10,950 feet) by Flight For Life Air Ambulance to Boulder Community Hospital.

On August 22, park rangers located a vehicle at the North Inlet Trailhead parking area that was connected to an advisory regarding a welfare check. The woman’s body was found near Tonahutu Creek close to the trailhead. The woman has been identified as Teresa Sajsa, 59, of Englewood, Colorado. The cause of death will be determined by Grand County Coroner’s office. No further information will be released at this time.

On August 23, park rangers were notified via cell phone that a 73 year old male had taken a tumbling fall while descending Mount Lady Washington in Rocky Mountain National Park above Chasm Lake. Bystanders who witnessed the fall aided the man by performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Rangers were nearby in the Chasm Shelter area and reached the man in 15 minutes. Rangers also performed CPR. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Friday morning, August 25, park rangers were notified by a ranger on a backcountry patrol that a 54 year old male hiker (hometown unknown) had suffered a leg injury above Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Additional rangers were sent to assist. Team members, in addition to five bystanders, helped move the man to a nearby alpine meadow where the man was flown at 3:45 p.m. by St. Anthony Flight for Life to Boulder Community Hospital.

On Saturday, August 26, rangers were notified of a deceased man a few yards from the Harbison Picnic Area on the west side of the park. The man has been identified as Michael McQuay, 71, of Estes Park, Colorado, and Laurel, Maryland. The investigation is ongoing, however the death is believed to be from natural causes.

On Sunday, August 27, rangers responded to a 22 year old male from Denver, Colorado, who fell approximately 15 feet below the viewing area at Adams Falls. The man suffered numerous serious injuries. Bystanders in the area assisted the man and notified park rangers at 5:45 p.m. A number of agencies assisted Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members with this extensive rescue effort including Grand County Search and Rescue, Grand County Sheriff’s Department, Grand Lake Fire and Grand County Mountain Medic Response Team. The man was evacuated via a wheeled litter. Teams reached the East Inlet Trailhead at 8:20 p.m. where he was flown by Northern Colorado Med Evac to Denver Medical Health Center.

On Monday, August 28, park rangers were notified around 5 p.m. regarding a 62 year old female from Mineral Point, Wisconsin, who fell from a horse near Granite Falls. She was roughly 6 miles from the Green Mountain Trailhead. Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue Team members reached the group of horseback riders at approximately 8:30 p.m. Grand County Mountain Medic Response Team also assisted on this incident. Due to the time of day and nature of injury, Search and Rescue Team members stayed with the group, including their horses, overnight. The woman was flown from a nearby meadow the next morning, Tuesday, August 29, by Northern Colorado Med Evac to Medical Center of the Rockies. Search and Rescue Team members reached the trailhead the following day at 1:00 p.m.


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