Winter Weather Conditions Since Early October Hamper Search Efforts For Ryan Albert

Searchers encountered pockets of chest deep snow along Keyhole Route on October 20.
Searchers encountered pockets of chest deep snow along Keyhole Route on October 20.

Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park

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News Release Date: November 2, 2018

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

Contact: Park Information, (970) 586-1206

On October 5, 2018, search efforts began in the Longs Peak area of Rocky Mountain National Park for Ryan Albert, 30, of Marlton, New Jersey. Albert was last seen on October 4, by another park visitor at approximately 10:30 a.m. in the area of Granite Pass heading toward the Keyhole on Longs Peak.  Inclement weather that started on October 4, was the beginning of a multi-day weather pattern of extreme conditions including low visibility and fog, thunderstorms and snow showers and freezing temperatures in the 20s and 30s. Search teams faced pockets of deep snow as well as verglas ice. These winter conditions have lasted since the beginning of the search efforts.

During the first two days, in challenging weather and terrain, teams were able to search higher elevations including sections of the Boulder Field, the Keyhole Route, The Loft, Chasm Cirque, North Longs Peak and Boulder Brook. As the snow accumulation and ice continued to build at higher elevations, teams worked lower in the search area throughout the first week. On Friday, October 12, eight days after Albert was last seen, a break in the weather allowed aerial reconnaissance to take place. In addition to searchers looking from the helicopter, footage was taken of high probability areas.  Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members spent the next three days reviewing the extensive footage.

Another significant winter storm began late Saturday, October 13, bringing additional snow accumulation at higher elevations. On Thursday, October 18, through Saturday, October 20, teams went back to the upper mountain at the Keyhole and Ledges area and again faced continuing deteriorating conditions including waist and chest deep snow, steep icy slopes and extremely slow travel. Due to the conditions, they did not go further than The Ledges on the Keyhole Route. On Sunday, October 21, a team traveled to the Chasm Cirque area and visually searched Lamb’s Slide, Mills Glacier, Camel Gully and the Chasm View fall line with binoculars and spotting scopes.

Throughout the search efforts limited clues of Albert's whereabouts have been found. Heavy snow, ice and large boulders can hamper seeing important visual clues. Albert was reportedly wearing gray and black clothing.
 
Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members has been Larimer County Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder County, Trans Aero, Northern Colorado Interagency Helitack and Colorado Search and Rescue Board members.  When conditions have allowed, dog teams from Larimer County Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain Rescue and Front Range Search and Rescue Dogs have also assisted. 

In the absence of additional clues combined with extreme winter conditions at higher elevations that will exist until late spring, we will have no active search operations during the winter months. We plan for search efforts to resume when the snow melts and conditions improve.

Ryan Albert is still a missing person and our investigation will continue in hopes of gaining further information as to his plans on the day of his disappearance.  Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who may have had contact with Ryan Albert or have information on his planned route.  Please call (970) 586-1204. 
 



Last updated: November 2, 2018

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Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517

Phone:

(970) 586-1206
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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