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Follow Up to Incident on Mount Ida in Rocky Mountain National Park

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Date: August 9, 2009
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

This morning, Sunday, August 9, a seven member litter team, consisting of park staff assisted by Rocky Mountain Rescue, and two park medics, began hiking toward the group who had spent last night below the summit of Mount Ida. The litter team reached the injured man at 9:20 a.m. The group is setting up a low angle technical rescue to bring the patient 200 feet up toward the summit of Mount Ida to a possible helicopter landing zone. A medical helicopter from St. Anthony’s Hospital is on standby. If it is unsafe to land a helicopter due to location and/or weather conditions, then the patient will be carried out on the litter to the trailhead.

The 32 year old injured man was with a hiking group of eleven people based out of Denver. Their intent was not to summit Mount Ida, but to descend in to the Gorge Lakes area, which is a steep descent. The accident occurred during the descent. The man is an Indian National living in Lakewood. His name will be released after family members are reached.

At 1:30 p.m. yesterday, August 8, 2009, the Grand County Sheriff’s office received a 911 call and passed the information on to Rocky Mountain National Park dispatch. A 32 year old male had a 20 foot tumbling, sliding fall near the summit of Mount Ida. He suffered a broken leg and cuts and bruises. Two rangers reached the patient at 5:25 p.m. He was located a few hundred feet below the ridgeline of Mount Ida in loose rock and scree. A litter team of 7 park rangers headed to the area but were turned back because of nightfall. Five rangers stayed with the injured man overnight in addition to a member of the hiking group the injured man was with.   Mount Ida (12,880 ft.) is located 4.5 miles from the Milner Pass Trailhead off of Trail Ridge Road. The elevation gain from the trailhead is 2,130 feet.

Did You Know?

a photo of folks throwing snowballs in front of the snow-covered Alpine Visitor Center

The coldest temperature inside the Alpine Visitor Center during the winter is rarely below 20 degrees. The snow insulates the building when it is closed for the winter.