ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – So far this summer, thousands have made their way to Rocky Mountain National Park where feet of late-season snow remain on many popular trails. Those conditions have proven to be dangerous which is why park officials urge hikers take caution.
Just days before finding the body believed to be Micah Tice’s, Rocky Mountain National Park search teams were looking for another many who they learned was missing.
A 51-year-old man from Louisiana was reported missing after his family said he didn’t contact them.
“The last he was heard from was around 8 a.m. Monday. He spent two nights out unplanned,” said Kyle Patterson, spokesperson for the park.
Like Tice, the park said the missing man did not tell his friends and family about the specific hiking plans they intended to make. After days of being unaccounted for, the park was notified of his status. They were able to narrow their search after locating his vehicle.
“We at least knew a general area that he was in,” Patterson said.
Search teams by land, and by air, combed the area. Fortunately, the hiker was located alive. The park search teams believed he was disoriented and lethargic.
“This is a happy ending to a story of someone who probably got disoriented,” Patterson said.
For those looking to head to Rocky Mountain National Park in the coming weeks, experts advised further preparation for any adverse conditions for the summer.
“It’s winter like conditions above 10,000 feet. You have to realize, even though it is dry and sunny here, you might not be in these conditions if you are hiking at higher elevations,” Patterson said.
The park officials said the search for both missing hikers could’ve been expedited and better executed if the hikers would have shared their plans for hiking with friends and family.