A body was found in a steep rocky area above Mirror Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park near dawn on Tuesday, August 6, ending a two-day search.
According to a press release from Rocky Mountain National Park, the search began early Monday morning, August 5, 2019, after park rangers were notified that Aragorn Spaulding, 37, of Greeley was overdue. The hiker’s vehicle was located on the road near the Corral Creek Trailhead. The identity of the body that was found has yet to be officially confirmed.
Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members began ground search efforts with aerial reconnaissance from a Flight For Life Air Ambulance. Search efforts continued into Tuesday morning, August 6, when a Colorado National Guard helicopter located the deceased man below a large cliff band in a steep, scree area above Mirror Lake.
A scree area is an accumulation of loose rock covering a steep slope, usually at the base of a mountain or cliff. Risky terrain consisting of loose and unstable rocks is often deemed as dangerous for hikers and climbers.
The hiker’s body was flown to Harbison Meadows and then transferred to the Larimer County Coroner’s Office. According to authorities, the name of the deceased is suspected to be Aragorn Spaulding, 37, of Greeley though this is not confirmed. The Larimer County Coroner’s office will release the name of the deceased pending positive identification and completion of an autopsy.
While it the specific trail the missing hiker was on has yet to be released, the trail to Mirror Lake is a 12.6 mile out-and-back route rated as intermediate with 2,040 feet of elevation gain. This trail starts in the area where the missing hiker’s car was found – Corral Creek.
Crews assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members include Flight For Life, the Colorado National Guard from Buckley Air Force Base, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group based in Boulder County, and Larimer County Search and Rescue including SAR dog teams.
Hiking accidents can happen at any time and anywhere in the mountains. Tell a friend before you go, know the terrain, and carry first aid. If you get injured, you may have to spend a few cold nights in the mountains until rescue crews arrive. Be safe out there and know what to do in case of an emergency. Here are few tips for mountain climbing in Colorado.
Editor’s Note: Here’s a quick piece regarding why we’ve decided to include accident and death coverage in our collection of content.
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