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Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363
At 2:30 p.m. yesterday, Saturday, November 20, visitors notified Rocky Mountain National Park dispatch via cell phone of a climbing related fatality. The incident occurred on the "All Mixed Up" ice climbing route above Mills Lake on Thatchtop Mountain. The victim was part of a two-person climbing party and his partner was uninjured. Thatchtop Mountain is located between the Loch Vale and Glacier Gorge drainages. Due to the remote location, difficult terrain, limited daylight hours and weather conditions it was determined that the body recovery operations would begin today.
At approximately 5:00 a.m. this morning a park technical rescue team left the Glacier Gorge Trailhead en route to the scene of the incident. They reached the victim at 10:15 a.m. Additional teams involved consist of park personnel assisted by members of Rocky Mountain Rescue and Larimer County Search and Rescue. There are 25 people currently in the field.
Mills Lake is roughly 3 miles from the trailhead. The base of the climb "All Mixed Up" is approximately 1,200 feet above the lake on Thatchtop Mountain and is in extremely difficult and dangerous terrain. It is steep, with loose talus, ice and unconsolidated snow. Winter storm conditions are making this recovery even more challenging.
The incident is under investigation. The victim is a 42 year old male from Denver, Colorado. His name is not yet being released. The "All Mixed Up" climb is currently closed until the operations are completed.