Crews rescue climber stuck on ledge at 13,000 feet on east face of Longs Peak

Climber feels 'lucky' & 'stupid'

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. - A 19-year-old from Canada  who had been stranded in an "extremely precarious location" at approximately 13,000 feet on 14,259-foot tall Longs Peak was rescued Wednesday evening.

Samuel Frappier, 19, of Quebec, became stranded on Broadway Ledge as he was descending from the summit of Longs Peak Tuesday afternoon, Kyle Patterson with Rocky Mountain National Park said.

Frappier has no technical climbing equipment and is an inexperienced mountaineer. He was wearing only cotton clothes and tennis shoes, Patterson said. He had stayed in contact with park rangers via his cell phone.

At 5:48 p.m., Rocky Mountain National Park announced "Rescuers have connected with Samuel Frappier on Lambs Slide and are moving down with him. Weather and conditions permitting he will be flown from the location shortly."

At 6:29 p.m., RMNP announced "Samuel Frappier was flown to the landing zone at Upper Beaver Meadows in Rocky Mountain National Park and was taken by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center. Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue personnel will begin to be flown out as daylight and weather conditions allow."

After his rescue, he was checked out at the Estes Park Medical Center.  Frappier told ABC News he feels "lucky" and "stupid" for getting stuck.

"He and a friend were ascending Longs Peak from the western side of Chasm Lake via Lambs Slide when they separated.  Later in the afternoon, Samuel became stranded on Broadway Ledge as he was descending from the summit of Longs Peak," an earlier release from RMNP stated.

Frappier was not prepared to spend the night on Tuesday and there is still significant snow and ice above 9,000 feet.

Late Tuesday night, the initial park technical rescue team arrived at the Chasm Shelter at the base of the east face of Longs Peak to stage for the rescue Wednesday, Patterson said. 

There were 28 team members and several helicopters involved in the rescue operation, including a Teton Interagency Helicopter from Wyoming.  

Warm conditions earlier Wednesday led to rapid snow melt and significant rock and snowfall, RMNP said.

The Rocky Mountain National Park website describes the dangers and conditions on Longs Peak:

In the summertime, when conditions allow, thousands climb to Longs' summit via the Keyhole Route. The Keyhole Route is not a hike. It is a climb that crosses enormous sheer vertical rock faces, often with falling rocks, requiring scrambling, where an unroped fall would likely be fatal. The route has narrow ledges, loose rock, and steep cliffs.

For most of the year, climbing Longs Peak requires winter mountaineering experience and the knowledge and use of specialized equipment. Disregard for the mountain environment any time of year has meant danger, injury and even death.

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