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Contact: Kyle Patterson, (970) 586-1363
This morning, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified by a family member that Jay Yambert, 56, of Champaign, Illinois, was overdue. Yambert had planned to summit Longs Peak on the east side, via The Loft on Sunday, July 27. At 4:30 p.m. yesterday he was in touch with family and indicated that he would be late getting back to the trailhead. They contacted the park this morning when they had not heard from him.
At 8:45 a.m. members of the park's Search and Rescue team departed the trailhead and began to retrace what was assumed to be Yambert's intended route. Yambert contacted family at 11:45 a.m. today and indicated that he was uninjured, but due to severe weather and nightfall he spent an unexpected night on Longs Peak.
There was heavy fog this morning and he became lost. Yambert believes he now may be on Mount Meeker. Park rangers are trying to contact him via cell phone and have relayed to family that if they are in contact with him to have him call 911 to assist with using GPS coordinates to help narrow down his location.
Rangers requested assistance for aerial surveillance from the Northern Colorado Helitek helicopter which assisted on incidents on Friday and Saturday in the park. The helicopter had been grounded due to severe weather and has just begun aerial search efforts this afternoon.
No further information is available at this time.
Aerial searchers located Yambert below Peacock Pool in the Roaring Fork drainage at roughly 4:00 p.m. Rangers nearby reached him on foot fifteen minutes later. They provided Yambert food and water. Yambert declined evacuation by helicopter and medical evaluation. He indicated he wanted to hike out on his own. Rangers led him back to the trail and gave him directions to the trailhead.
No further information is available.