Rocky Mountain National Park registered its first climbing fatality of the season. A rock fall and avalanche were reported near the Dreamweaver Couloir on Mt. Meeker Sunday morning. A release from the park notes the incident was witnessed by other climbers in the area. Three individuals were involved in the incident including a female and two males. Due to the location and severity of injuries of one of the males, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members requested assistance from a Colorado National Guard helicopter from Buckley Air Force Base to extricate him via a hoist operation, using a winch operated cable.
The hele-evac occurred at approximately 2:00 pm when there was a brief weather window. Rocky Mountain Rescue assisted with the helicopter hoist operations. The park says that the man was flown to Upper Beaver Meadows, transferred to Northern Colorado Med Evac air ambulance and then flown to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado, while the female suffered only minor injuries. She was flown to Upper Beaver Meadows at 4:15 pm and was transferred by ground to further medical care. Rescue teams worked in terrain above 11,500 feet and at times experienced winter-like weather conditions throughout the day.
Several agencies assisted Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue team during the operation including Colorado Search and Rescue Association, Flight for Life, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Front Range Rescue Dogs, Colorado National Guard, and Med Evac.