Rescuers save hiker stuck on Rocky Mountain peak

AP News
Posted: May 28, 2014 9:19 PM

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (AP) — A 19-year-old Canadian hiker who was stuck on a ledge of the tallest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado has been rescued.

Park officials said Samuel Frappier of Quebec was flown to a landing zone in the park and taken by ambulance to a hospital Wednesday evening.

Frappier was stranded Tuesday on the east side of Longs Peak while descending from the top of the 14,255-foot precipice.

Rescuers reached Frappier about 6 p.m. MDT Wednesday.

He was spotted about 1,000 feet below the summit on Broadway Ledge. A photo released by park officials showed a sloping ledge covered by patches of snow. Park officials said Frappier was climbing with a friend but got separated. It was unclear how he ended up on the ledge.

About 30 members of the park rescue team dealt with falling ice and rock throughout the day before rescuing Frappier, spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said.

In addition, a short-haul helicopter used to rescue climbers in Grand Teton National Park was brought in. The aircraft is capable of lowering a stretcher.

Another helicopter was helping with surveillance and supplies.

Frappier used his cellphone to call authorities and spent Tuesday night on the mountain, where temperatures dropped into the 30s. He said he wasn't injured, but he didn't have any technical climbing equipment that would help him move up or down. Some of the rescuers spent the night at the base of Longs Peak so they could begin climbing after daybreak.

Rescue members were to be flown out as daylight permitted.

The mountain, visible from the Denver area, is a popular place to climb and can be scaled without any special equipment during the summer.

However, recent climbers have said winter conditions remained where park officials warn that mountaineering experience and the knowledge and use of specialized equipment is required.