Friday, May 30, 2014

Teenage Hiker Rescued From Ledge On Longs Peak

Samuel Frappier, a 19-year-old visitor from Quebec, was ascending Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park with a friend on Tuesday when they became separated. As Frappier attempted to descend he got himself stranded in an extremely precarious location known as the Broadway Ledge, at an elevation of roughly 13,000 feet, which forced him to call for help.

Although Frappier was reported to be fit, he had no technical climbing equipment and no experience as a mountaineer. Wearing only tennis shoes and cotton clothing, he was also unprepared for a night on the mountain in snow and ice and near freezing temperatures.

A rescue operation was immediately launched. The park’s SAR team was joined in the effort by Rocky Mountain Rescue and a Teton Interagency helicopter. Nearly 30 people were committed to the operation.

On Wednesday evening Frappier was helped off the ledge by rescuers, flown to a landing zone in Upper Beaver Meadows, and then taken to Estes Park Medical Center. The teen was subsequently checked-out and released by the hospital. Frappier will not be billed for the rescue, which cost several thousand dollars.

Reaching the summit of Longs Peak is not a hike. The 1.3-mile Keyhole Route is considered to be a climb - a classic mountaineering route that should not be underestimated. However, hikers can reach the Keyhole on a long day hike.


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