ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (AP) — A Canadian teen rescued from a 13,000-foot ledge in Rocky Mountain National Park says he was stupid for trying to climb the park's highest peak, which is still largely covered by snow.
Nineteen-year-old Samuel Frappier (frap-EE'-ay) of Quebec was able to walk and talk after he was flown down Wednesday evening from Longs Peak, where he got stuck while descending from its 14,259-foot summit the day before. He was wearing only a t-shirt, workout pants and sneakers and had to spend the night on the ledge before rescuers could reach him.
"I imagine people saying I am stupid and they're right," he told KMGH-TV (http://bit.ly/1nEGGoc ) with a smile. "It is stupid and I am never going to do that again."
Frappier said he knew he was lucky that the adventure ended well.
About 30 rescuers had to deal with significant snow and rock fall as warm weather sped up the spring snow melt. They were able to reach Frappier by helicopter after shade spread across the peak's eastern face, preventing the snow from melting further.
Frappier had been hiking with a friend but got separated along a technical climbing area where there is no trail down the mountain, park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said.
He used his cellphone to call authorities and spent Tuesday night on the mountain, where temperatures dropped into the 30s. He reported that he wasn't injured, but he didn't have any technical climbing equipment that would help him move up or down.
The mountain, visible from the Denver area, is a popular place to climb, and some routes can be scaled without any special equipment during the summer.
However, recent climbers have said winter conditions persist there and park officials warn that mountaineering experience and the knowledge and use of specialized equipment is required.