Rocky Mountain National Park Rangers Work Through The Night To Save Climber

Alternate Text
A rescue helicopter delivers seriously injured Nick Creadon to the Upper Beaver Meadows Road in Rocky Mountain National Park for transport to an Estes Park hospital/NPS

Rocky Mountain National Park rangers worked through the night early Saturday to save the life of a Colorado climber who had injured himself while glissading down a snowy chute.

Nick Creadon, 31, of Golden, contacted rangers via cell phone Friday afternoon to say he "had fallen an unknown distance while glissading down Gabletop Mountain, which is above Loomis Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. He reported numerous injuries," park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson reported Friday.

Before nightfall Friday the man was spotted in a steep, remote cirque above Loomis Lake at an elevation of approximately 11,300 feet. While rangers worked to reach him, they maintained occasional contact via cellphone, and asked if he could work his way down across a rock band and towards a snow field the rangers were heading towards. Shortly after midnight rangers reached the man.

"Creadon was ambulatory but had life-threatening injuries," Ms. Patterson said Saturday. "Rangers rescued Creadon by lowering him 500 feet with ropes and then assisted him an additional 700 feet down steep mountainous terrain to Loomis Lake. A paramedic on the park's rescue team provided advanced life support throughout the incident."

Federal privacy law prevented the park from detailing the man's injuries.

At approximately 8:30 a.m., the climber was flown to Upper Beaver Meadows Road where he was then taken by Flight for Life to St. Anthony's Hospital in Estes Park for further treatment.

"Park rescue team members feel this was truly a life saving mission. Creadon was extremely fortunate to have cell phone coverage in this remote location with very limited coverage," said Ms. Patterson.

Meanwhile, park officials had no additional details regarding a climber's body found earlier Friday on an approach to Longs Peak. The body was spotted about 7 a.m. Friday below The Ledges by another climber heading up the Keyhole Route on Longs Peak. Rangers reached the body at 10:15 a.m. and confirmed the individual was deceased.

Comments

For an idea of just how difficult this location was for the victim and the rescuers, you can see a photo in this story in yesterday's Traveler. Try to visualize the difficulties of travel in this terrain in the dark.

Kudos to the victim for being able to aid in his rescue, and to all of those on the team involved.

Hope this guy will survive and make a good recovery.