Two Hikers Rescued in Rocky Mountain National Park After Slipping on Snow
Two separate hikers were rescued in Rocky Mountain National Park this week, after suffering injuries that were caused by slipping on snow that was still on the ground.
According to Estes Park News, both incidents occurred in the Loch Vale area of the park.
During the early morning on Tuesday (June 1), park rangers received a 911 call regarding an injured 32-year-old male near Loch Vale. The man had suffered a lower leg injury after slipping and falling on snow.
A team of park rangers and a paramedic from Estes Park Health reached the man at approximately 8:30 a.m. and provided emergency care on scene. Then, a group of 20 Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members helped to carry the man, using a special type of stretcher, that's specifically designed for obstacles and hazardous terrain. The rescuers reportedly dealt with extremely unfavorable trail conditions at high elevations, due to the melting snow. The group of rescuers arrived at the Glacier Gorge trailhead by about 3:40 p.m., and the hiker was then taken by ambulance to Estes Park Health.
Also on June 1, a 28-year-old female reportedly fell from standing height at Timberline Falls at 2 p.m. Following the fall, the woman was slowly moving down the trail when other park visitors were kind enough to step in to provide care, and assisted her with walking.
A two-person park hasty team was dispatched to the female, and located her just below Loch Lake. They provided the patient with micro spikes and trekking pokes, and were able to further assist her down the trail. The woman and rescuers reached the Glacier Gorge trailhead at approximately 7:15 p.m. The patient then drove herself to Estes Park Health.
According to park rangers, neither patient was wearing traction devices at the time of their falls.
After already responding to numerous incidents involving leg injuries in the Loch Vale and Sky Pond areas this spring, RMNP staff says visitors should expect icy, narrow and steep trails on the way to Loch Vale. There can be deep snow, and at times, the terrain is very difficult to navigate, especially as the elevation increases. Park rangers recommend due to fluctuating conditions, hikers should plan ahead and bring things like traction devices, warm winter clothes, sturdy boots, poles, and headlamps. Knowledge of how to navigate the terrain is also crucial when heading out on a hike like this.