Two injured in separate falls at Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park officials reported two separate incidents where individuals fell in snow and hurt their legs on Tuesday near Loch Vale.
Early Tuesday morning, park rangers received a call of an injured hiker in that area. A 32-year-old man had suffered a lower leg injury after slipping and falling on snow.
A team of rangers reached the man 8:30 a.m. and provided emergency care. A 20-person team of Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue members carried the man via a litter, and a paramedic from Estes Park Health assisted.
The rescuers dealt with unfavorable trail conditions at high elevations due to soft, melting snow, arriving at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead around 3:40 p.m.
At 2 p.m. a second request was received from the Loch, this time for a 28-year-old woman who fell from standing height at Timberline Falls. She was reported moving slowly down the trail with the assistance of park visitors.
A two-person park team was dispatched and found the woman just below Loch Lake. The team provided micro spikes and trekking poles to further assist the patient down the trail. The group arrived near the Glacier Gorge trailhead at 7:15 p.m.
Park officials said neither patient was wearing a traction device at the time of the falls. The search and rescue team has responded to a number of leg injuries in the Loch Vale and Sky Pond area this spring, the report added.
Deep snow and fluctuating temperatures can make for tricky trail conditions, so visitors should expect icy, narrow and steep trails on the way to Loch Vale. Past Loch Vale, there are still two more miles to Sky Pond where the snow gets deeper, trails get icier and the terrain is difficult to navigate.
Similar elevations across the park are seeing the same conditions.
Visitors are asked to be prepared for winter-like conditions at higher elevations in Rocky Mountain National Park. Hikers should plan ahead and bring traction devices, warm clothes, sturdy boots and poles, headlamps, and a knowledge of how to navigate the terrain, officials said.
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