On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, active search efforts began in the Longs Peak area of Rocky Mountain National Park for Air Force Academy Cadet Candidate Micah Tice, 20, of Las Vegas, Nevada. On Monday afternoon, November 26, park rangers were notified that the Air Force Academy was asking for assistance in locating Tice. His vehicle was subsequently located at the Longs Peak Trailhead at approximately 3:30 p.m. on November 26.
Tice was last seen on Saturday, November 24, by other park visitors between 7:30 and 8 a.m. in the Battle Mountain Area. The visitors indicated the weather was terrible at the Longs Peak Trailhead and that visibility and weather conditions continued to worsen. Tice was reported to be wearing a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, a black hat, black lightweight gloves, tennis shoes and a light blue backpack. The visitors discouraged Tice to continue to the summit due to his clothing, footwear and weather conditions.
Over a seven day period, ground and aerial searchers have covered an approximate 10 square mile search area. These efforts have been focused on sections of the Longs Peak Trail, the East Longs Peak Trail, the Battle Mountain area, Granite Pass, Jim’s Grove, the Boulder Field, Mount Lady Washington, Chasm Lake, Peacock Pool, Boulder Brook Drainage, the Storm Pass Trail, and the Wind River drainage. Ground search teams reached The Ledges section of the Keyhole Route on Tuesday, November 27, and did not proceed further due to hazardous icy conditions on the upper mountain. On Sunday, December 2, the first day conditions were conducive to flying this area, search managers assigned aerial searchers to perform reconnaissance of the entire Keyhole Route to the summit of Longs Peak.
Very few clues have been discovered during search efforts. Depending on the search area and day, team members have encountered harsh winter conditions including extreme winds, low visibility, bitter wind chills, below freezing temperatures, deep snow and high avalanche danger.
The park has worked closely with the US Air Force Academy since the beginning of this incident, coordinating investigative and operational assistance, and incorporating a team from the Air Force Academy Mountaineering Club in search efforts. The Air Force Academy Colorado Parents’ Club has coordinated efforts from numerous organizations and individuals to donate daily meals for searchers.
Also assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members has been Larimer County Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder County, Colorado Air National Guard, Alpine Rescue Team, Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Grand County Search and Rescue, Douglas County Search and Rescue, Colorado Search and Rescue Board, Summit County Rescue Group Dog Team, Front Range Rescue Dogs, and FLIR Systems Inc. who volunteered their services to conduct thermal imaging of the search area.
Snowfall and high winds in this extreme high mountain terrain make finding clues to Tice’s whereabouts even more difficult. Tice was reportedly wearing black clothing. In the absence of additional clues, active search operations have been suspended. Limited search activities may occur during winter months if conditions allow.
Micah Tice is still a missing person and our investigation will continue in hopes of gaining further information as to his plans on the day of his disappearance. Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who may have had contact with Micah Tice or have information on his planned route. Please call (970) 586-1204.
Ramble On: A History of Hiking