Aerial Operation Plucks Military Personnel Off Longs Peak In Rocky Mountain National Park

By mid-afternoon Friday, June 3, 2016, a band of military personnel that ran into trouble while training on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado was safely airlifted off the top of the mountain by rangers.

Park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said that the group of 10 climbers late Thursday night radioed for assistance on Kiener’s Route on Longs Peak.

“The group consists of a variety of military personnel affiliated with Fort Carson. This group was involved in a climbing training,” she said in a release earlier Friday. “A few members reported having some degree of distress and were having difficulty continuing up the route. The group was not planning to overnight in the area. The group continues to self-rescue by assisting each other to climb to the summit of Longs Peak.

“Park rangers are planning evacuation efforts from the (14,259-foot) summit of Longs Peak via helicopter, weather and conditions permitting,” wrote Ms. Patterson. “Rangers are also planning to assist the group to the summit, if needed. There are 43 park personnel affiliated with this incident. Helicopter operations have taken place within the last hour to help with reconnaissance efforts.”

Shortly after 3 p.m. all the climbers had been safely flown down to the floor of the park, she said in an update. None required medical attention.

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