Highline rescue operations in the Roaring River, Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park

Courtesy National Park Service

June 25, 2017

Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members were called to several incidents on the weekend of June 24-25, 2017, including one where an 18-year-old male was rescued via a highline operation across the Roaring River above the Alluvial Fan.

On Saturday afternoon, the 18 year old from Kansas had been rock hopping on this section of the Roaring River when he became stuck on the west side of the river. Park rangers were notified at 2:30 p.m. The young man’s family members were on the east side of the river. Rangers assessed the situation with members of Estes Valley Fire Protection District’s Dive and Swiftwater Rescue Team, and after considering the complexity and length of time the rescue would likely take, it was determined that it would be safest to conduct the rescue on Sunday morning. Rangers provided the man with warm clothes, a sleeping bag and food overnight. A ranger stayed overnight on the other side of the river from the young man…

At 5:30 a.m. Sunday rescuers gathered and at 7 a.m. the highline operation began. The young man was rescued at approximately 10:20 a.m. More than 20 people were involved in the operation.

Other incidents included a 15-year-old female falling in the St. Vrain River in the Wild Basin area. She tumbled downstream approximately 50 yards over an eight foot waterfall and through significant rapids. Bystanders and family members were able to rescue the girl prior to rangers arriving. She received leg injuries and was carried out via a wheeled litter to the Wild Basin Trailhead where she was taken by ambulance to the Estes Park Medical Center.

Park rangers also assisted an injured 24-year-old male boulderer in the Chaos Canyon area who injured his leg after a fall, a 27-year-old female hiker on the Gem Lake Trail with a knee injury and a 26-year-old male hiker who had a seizure after taking a small fall at Emerald Lake.

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