New York man still missing, search continues in Rocky Mountain National Park
Search efforts for a 24-year-old New York man were hampered by conditions on Friday in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Steven “Steve” Grunwald of Greenville, New York, went missing on Thursday. According to park officials, family and friends last had contact with Grunwald on Aug. 28. Rangers found his vehicle at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, and they believe he may have been attempting the Glacier Gorge Traverse on Aug. 29.
In the park Friday, officials reported that areas above 10,000 feet experienced winter-like conditions of 8-10 inches of drifting snow, 30 degree temperatures and 50 mph winds producing an 11 degree windchill. This made visibility and probability of detection low to nonexistent.
Officials said that leads from the established tip line have been positive and continue to assist in defining the search area. Responders will focus on locations along the Glacier Gorge Traverse and other high probability areas defined by investigative efforts.
Weather forecasts call for favorable conditions for aerial search operations Saturday afternoon. Additional resources are planned for those operations along with skilled technical staff searching the those areas as conditions and resources permit.
According to park officials, the Glacier Gorge Traverse is an expansive route that features 11 peak summits over roughly 19 miles. It entails sections of class five climbing and difficult terrain.
Grunwald is described as 5-foot-6, 145 pounds with brown hair, medium length and curly. He wears black rectangular glasses and is a fit trail runner, backpacker and climber with backcountry experience.
His clothing may include a brown beanie, yellow pants, a blue top layer and blue or red shoes. He may be wearing a green camp climbing helmet.
If you have any information that could help, including maybe seeing Grunwald or just being in the upper Glacier Gorge area or on surrounding peaks Aug. 29-30, park rangers want to talk to you.
Rangers say they don’t need you to tell them who you are, that they would just like to know what you know.
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