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Rocky Mountain National Park staff reminds visitors to bring traction after fall-related injuries

Many parts of park are still snowy, icy
Loch Vale incident June 1, 2021_Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park.jpg
Posted at 7:08 AM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 09:08:11-04

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — After two people slipped and injured themselves in snow at Rocky Mountain National Park, park rangers are reminding visitors to bring traction and prepare for winter-like conditions in parts of the park.

On June 1, park rangers responded to two separate incidents where visitors fell on snow and injured themselves.

According to park staff, the first incident occurred early in the morning. Rangers received a 911 call about a hiker, 32, near Loch Vale, who had slipped on snow and had a lower leg injury. A team reached him around 8:30 a.m. and carried him out with a litter and arrived at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead around 3:40 p.m. The man was transported via ambulance to Estes Park Health, the park said.

Carry out at lower elevation from Loch Vale Incident June1 Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park.jpg

Around 2 p.m. the same day, a 28-year-old woman fell from standing height near Timberline Falls. Park staff were told she was slowly moving down the trail to self-evacuate. Other visitors helped her down, the park said, and a team of rescuers met with them just below Loch Lake. The staff provided microspikes and trekking poles to help the woman down the trail. They arrived near the Glacier Gorge trailhead at 7:15 p.m and the woman transported herself to a hospital.

RMNP staff said neither injured person was wearing traction on their feet when they fell.

The park's Search and Rescue Team has responded to multiple incidents in the Loch Vale and Sky Pond area involving people with leg injuries this spring. All park visitors should expect icy, narrow, and steep trails on the way to Loch Vale. Two miles past that is Sky Pond, although this stretch has deeper snow and the trail is icy and difficult.

Conditions at similar elevations in the park are about the same, park staff said. Visitors should be prepared for winter-like conditions at these higher elevations.