• Photo of the continental divide blanketed in snow. NPS Photo by VIP Schonlau

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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  • Old Fall River Road will be closed in 2014 due to flood damage

    Damages on Old Fall River Road are extensive and the road will remain closed to vehicles through 2014. It is unknown at this time whether hikers and bicyclists will be allowed on the road. More »

  • Impacts from September 2013 Flood

    Due to recent flooding, there are still some closures in the park that could affect your visit. More »

Body of Victim Found

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Date: March 19, 2013
Contact: Kyle Patterson, (970) 586-1363

At 2:00 p.m. this afternoon David Laurienti's body was found in the Upper Fay Lakes drainage on the north slope of Ypsilon Mountain. His body has been protected and moved to a more secure location. The six-person park team who located his body will be coming out of the backcountry tonight.       

Tomorrow, park rangers will evaluate alternatives for the safe recovery of his body. This will be dictated largely by weather, wind and avalanche conditions.         

David Laurienti, forty-three years old from Estes Park, died from injuries believed to be sustained in a fall, likely occurring in an avalanche. Search efforts began yesterday morning, March 18, for David Laurienti and Lisa Foster, two overdue climbers from Estes Park. At around 2:45 p.m. park rangers found Foster, forty-five years old, in the upper Fay Lakes basin approximately 6 miles from the Lawn Lake Trailhead. Ms. Foster and Mr. Laurienti had been caught in an avalanche at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, when descending from the north side of Blitzen Ridge on the 13,514 foot Ypsilon Mountain. Foster suffered numerous injuries. Park rangers provided her with assistance, medical care and evacuated her via toboggan from Ypsilon Lake, which is roughly 4.5 miles from the Lawn Lake Trailhead.          

Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Mountain is a challenging mountaineering route that includes sections of technical rock, often made more difficult in winter conditions.  Recent snow and winds have contributed to what the Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasted as considerable avalanche conditions in this area since Saturday. Ypsilon (pronounced ipp-salon) Mountain is located north of Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Did You Know?

A photo of arrowheads that archeologists found in the park.

The area now known as Rocky Mountain National Park has been occupied by human beings for 10,000 years. Archeologists have found more than 300 prehistoric sites at elevations ranging from 8,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level. More...