Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2013-03-17
Submitted By: AAA
Place: Rocky Mountain National Park, Ypsilon Mtn, Fay Lakes
State: CO
Country: USA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 2 climbers caught, 1 killed & 1 injured

Early Sunday evening two climbers descending on or from Blitzen Ridge were caught in an avalanche. Today (Monday) the pair were reported overdue. Rangers found one climber injured, and will recover the body of the other climber when conditions allow.

Media Report:

Official Reports:

Rocky Mountain National Park News Release

March 18, 2013

For Immediate Release

Kyle Patterson

Fatality in Rocky Mountain National Park

A forty-three year old male is presumed dead from injuries believed to be sustained in a fall, likely occurring in an avalanche in Rocky Mountain National Park. Search efforts began this morning for two overdue climbers from Estes Park. At around 2:45 p.m. park rangers found the forty-five year old female climber in the upper Fay Lakes basin approximately 6 miles from the Lawn Lake Trailhead. Information provided by field teams has been hampered by communications, however itís been reported that she and her partner had been caught in an avalanche at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, when descending from the north side of Blitzen Ridge on the 13,514 foot Ypsilon Mountain. She suffered numerous injuries. Park rangers are providing her with assistance, medical care and are evacuating her via toboggan from Ypsilon Lake, which is roughly 4.5 miles from the Lawn Lake Trailhead. It is estimated that the team will reach the trailhead close to midnight.

The deceased manís name is David Laurienti. The name of the climber who rangers are assisting is Lisa Foster. Both are from Estes Park.

Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Mountain is a challenging mountaineering route that includes sections of technical rock, often made more difficult in winter conditions. Recent snow and winds have contributed to what the Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasted as considerable avalanche conditions in this area since Saturday. The weather forecast continues to call for periods of snow, high winds and low temperatures above 11,000 feet. Ypsilon (pronounced ipp-salon) Mountain is located north of Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Park rangers will locate and conduct the body recovery effort when conditions allow.


A link to the CAIC report will be added when the information becomes available.