Rangers spend 13+ hours rescuing hiker in off-trail area of Rocky Mountain National Park

ESTES PARK, Colo. - Rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park spent Monday afternoon through early Tuesday morning rescuing a hiker who fell while exploring off trail in steep and muddy rockslide area.

Park officials said Rick Grigsby, 62, called for help Monday at 12:45 p.m.

Grigsby told dispatchers he fell in a steep off-trail area between Arch Rock and The Pool on the lower Fern Lake trail.

Rocky Mountain National Park said its Search and Rescue Team members searched for Grigsby for four hours in a number of off trail areas.  He was found at 5:45 p.m. when rangers heard his yells for help. 

"Grigsby had been exploring an extremely steep, mud and rockslide area when he fell on rocks and suffered a leg injury," park officials said.

Rescuers said Grigsby was in a hazardous area with steep terrain, loose rock, unstable footing with burned and downed wood from the 2012 Fern Lake Fire.

Rescuers said there was a land slide in this area in spring 2013.

To get Grigsby out, technical teams lowered him more than 1,000 feet to a high marshy meadow, then lowered him an additional 800 feet.  Then he was carried down the trail in a wheeled litter to the Fern Lake Trailhead.

The team reached the trailhead at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

More than 40 Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members were involved in this rescue, officials said.

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