Glacier Gorge and Mills Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Glacier Creek and Mills Lake in the foreground and "Keyboard of the Winds" including Storm Peak, Longs Peak, Pagoda Mountain and Chief's Head Peak making up the mountainous backdrop. Photo Credit: sherwoodimagery (iStock).

According to officials, the first day of the search for Steve Grunwald, 24, in Rocky Mountain National Park on Friday was greatly limited by extreme winter-like conditions. Above 10,000 feet, the park experienced 8 to 10 inches of drifting snow, 50 mile per hour wind gusts, and windchills of 11 degrees.

Representative Kyle Patterson stated that "this made visibility and probability of detection low to non-existent."

More favorable conditions now present will allow for more effective aerial search operations during the following days. The continued search is set to be focused on the Glacier Gorge Traverse.

It is believed that Grunwald was attempting the Glacier Gorge Traverse on August 29, last seen in nearby Boulder, Colorado on the previous day. The traverse is a strenuous route that travels 11 summits over 19 rocky miles. It is considered dangerous terrain with class five climbing, meaning falls in some places would likely be fatal.

Steven Grunwald. Courtesy photo.

Steven Grunwald. Courtesy photo.

Grunwald was reported missing by a friend on September 10, with searchers finding his car at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead on the same day.

Steven Grunwald is described as an experienced outdoorsman and a fit trail runner, backpacker, and rock climber. He's 5' 6" and 145 pounds with brown hair and black rectangle glasses. It is also believed that he may have been wearing a green Camp brand climbing helmet.

Authorities are asking those that were in the Glacier Gorge area or surrounding ridgelines on August 29 and 30 to contact them. They can be reached via phone at 888-653-0009, online form, or email at

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike. Follow along with his adventures on Instagram at @spence.outside


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