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Contact: Kyle Patterson, (970) 586-1363
On Monday afternoon, June 8, at approximately 12:45, Rocky Mountain National Park's dispatch center received a call that Rick Grigsby, 62, from Estes Park had fallen in a steep off- trail area between Arch Rock and The Pool on the lower Fern Lake trail.
Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members searched for four hours in a number of off trail areas. From the reported description of the location, it was difficult to find him. Grigsby was eventually located at 5:45 p.m. when rangers heard his yells for help. Grigsby had been exploring an extremely steep, mud and rock slide area when he fell on rocks and suffered a leg injury.
Park Search and Rescue Team members described the area as hazardous with steep terrain, loose rock, unstable footing with burned and downed wood from the 2012 Fern Lake Fire. This land slide area had occurred in the spring of 2013. Park team members had difficulty finding stable locations to place anchors to perform the technical lowering of Grigsby down the steep gully.
Grigsby was initially lowered more than 1,000 feet to a high marshy meadow. The second technical lowering took place over an additional 800 feet steep scree area. He was then carried down the trail in a wheeled litter to the Fern Lake Trailhead, reaching the trailhead at 2:30 a.m.
Grigsby was travelling alone and was fortunate to have cell phone coverage in the area he fell. Over 40 Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members were involved in this incident.