News Release

Sunday's Search Efforts For Steve Grunwald

RMNP Search and Rescue Team Members on saddle between Taylor and Powell for Grunwald search.
RMNP Search and Rescue Team Members Shuttled by Northern Colorado Interagency Helitak Between Taylor and Powell Saddle September 13 2020

Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park

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News Release Date: September 13, 2020

Contact: Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Officer, 970-586-1363

Contact: Park Information, 970-586-1206

Early this morning, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members were shuttled by Northern Colorado Interagency Helitak to the saddle between Taylor and Powell Peaks in the continued search for Steve Grunwald. (Taylor elevation 13,163 feet, Powell elevation 13,208 feet). 

Searchers covered terrain along the Continental Divide in exposed areas with loose rocks and scree fields, where accessible; including areas of Thatchtop, McHenrys Peak, and Powell Peak. Steep alpine terrain in areas with a north facing aspect were extremely hazardous due to snow and heavy ice build up. This hindered searchers from covering these areas.  Weather is forecast to be favorable for access into those areas mid week.  

Another search team hiked from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead to the South Couloir route up Thatchtop. 

Aerial search efforts took place again today as well.

Searchers are camping tonight in the Lake Powell area to begin search efforts again early tomorrow morning. 

On September 11, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers began search efforts for Steven “Steve” Grunwald, 24, of Greenville, New York. On September 10, a friend of Grunwald reported him missing. Park rangers found his vehicle parked at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead on September 10. His last contact with family and friends was August 28.

His exact route or destination is unknown, but it is believed he may have been attempting the Glacier Gorge Traverse on August 29. He was last seen in Boulder on August 28. The Glacier Gorge Traverse is an expansive route including 11 peak summits over roughly 19 miles. It entails sections of fifth class climbing and difficult terrain.

Grunwald is described as 5’6,” 145 pounds, brown hair medium length and curly. He wears black rectangular glasses. He is described as a fit trail runner, backpacker, and climber with backcountry experience. Clothing may include a brown beanie, yellow pants, a blue top layer and blue or red shoes. He may be wearing a green Camp climbing helmet.

If you have information that could help investigators, if you may have seen Steven Grunwald, or if you were in the upper Glacier Gorge area and/or ridge lines on surrounding peaks on August 29 or August 30, please contact us. You don't have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know. CALL or TEXT the National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau Tip Line 888-653-0009, ONLINE form or EMAIL

Last updated: September 13, 2020

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