Fatality on Taylor Glacier and Related Rescue In Rocky Mountain National Park

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Date: October 16, 2010
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

Update Sunday, October 17:

The man's body was flown out of the backcountry this morning at 10:30 a.m. He has been identified as James Charles Patrick, 54, from Littleton, Colorado.

After further investigation it is determined James Charles Patrick took a tumbling fall of more than 1,000 feet.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. today, Saturday, October 16, two climbers reported that a third man who was climbing with them fell on Taylor Glacier in Rocky Mountain National Park. Park rangers were contacted by cell phone of the incident. Park rangers reached the man’s body at 4:45 p.m. The 54-year-old Colorado man took an approximate 350 foot tumbling fall.

The man who fell had the group’s rope, leaving the other two climbers stranded near the top of Taylor Glacier just below the ridgeline between Taylor Peak and Powell Peak. Those two climbers were able to anchor themselves in place until help arrived. Two rangers reached the ridgeline above the climbers around 4:15 p.m. and were able to belay the two between 50 to 100 feet up to their location. The rangers provided assistance to the climbers and are hiking out with them tonight.

A helicopter flew in supplies to the two park rangers who will remain in the area of the man’s body tonight. The area is steep and treacherous in a talus area with loose rocks, ice and snow. Park rangers have been assisted by Larimer County Search and Rescue and Rocky Mountain Rescue.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. Weather and resources permitting, the victim’s body will be recovered tomorrow. His body will then be transferred to the Larimer County Coroner. The man’s name will not be released until next of kin are notified.

Taylor Glacier is above Sky Pond and sits between Taylor Peak and Powell Peak. Sky Pond is approximately 5 miles from the Bear Lake Trailhead. This is the fifth falling fatality in Rocky Mountain National Park this year.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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Estes Park, CO 80517


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Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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