Rocky Mountain National Park reports fifth fatality
October 18, 2010
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK – A climber fell to his death on Saturday in Rocky Mountain National Park.
James Charles Patrick, 54, of Littleton, was climbing with two friends when he took more than a 1,000-foot tumbling fall on Taylor Glacier in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Contacted via cell phone, Park rangers reached Patrick’s body at 4:45 p.m.
The man’s body was flown out of the backcountry on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.
A helicopter crew flew in supplies to two park rangers who remained in the area of the man’s body overnight.
The man who fell had the group’s rope, according to Park statements released on Sunday, leaving the other two climbers stranded near the top of Taylor Glacier just below the ridgeline between Taylor Peak and Powell Peak.
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Those two climbers were able to anchor themselves in place until help arrived.
Two rangers reached the ridgeline above the climbers at around 4:15 p.m. and were able to belay the two men between 50 to 100 feet up to their location.
The rangers provided assistance to the climbers and hiked out with them on Sunday evening.
The area is steep and treacherous in a talus area with loose rocks, ice and snow. Taylor Glacier is above Sky Pond and sits between Taylor Peak and Powell Peak. Sky Pond is approximately 5 miles from the Bear Lake Trailhead.
This is the fifth falling fatality in Rocky Mountain National Park this year.
Park rangers have been assisted by Larimer County Search and Rescue and Rocky Mountain Rescue.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, according to Park statements.