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Search and rescue crews recover body of man killed in RMNP avalanche

Helicopter operations during incident on Mount Meeker May 29 2022 Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park smaller size.jpg
Posted at 5:11 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 10:55:25-04

UPDATE | 8:54 a.m., June 6, 2022 — The Boulder County Coroner's Office confirmed on June 3 the victim is 25-year-old Christopher Clark, of Land O' Lakes, Florida.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Search and rescue crews were able to recover the body of a man who died in an avalanche on Sunday in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The crews found the man's body on Sunday late afternoon after two other people were rescued. On June 3, the Boulder County Coroner's Office identified him as 25-year-old Christopher Clark, of Land O' Lakes, Florida. The trio had been climbing near Dreamweaver Couloir on Mount Meeker around 9 a.m. when other nearby climbers reported seeing rockfall and an avalanche near the group.

Crews found a man, who had serious injuries, and requested help from a Colorado National Guard helicopter to extricate him. He was hoisted out of the area around 2 p.m. during a good weather window and transported to Medical Center of the Rockies, according to park officials. A woman had minor injuries and was flown to Upper Beaver Meadows at 4:15 p.m. and was then transferred on the ground for more medical care.

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members found the third person deceased in the avalanche debris using a RECCO device and probing in the snow. However, winter weather conditions prevented the team from recovering his body Sunday, park staff said.

They took advantage of a brief, but good, weather window on Tuesday and flew a helicopter into the area to recover the body. He was transferred to the Boulder County Coroner's Office.

His name has not been released, however RMNP staff identified the injured man as Michael Grieg, 27, and the injured woman as Lillian Martinez, 24, both from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The CAIC said this marked the seventh person killed in an avalanche in the state this season. There have been 11 people buried and 19 people caught in avalanches in that time frame.

Colorado Search and Rescue Association, Flight for Life, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Front Range Rescue Dogs, Colorado National Guard, and MedEvac helped with these rescues.