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Park Ranger Missing


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#1 Aaron

 
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Posted 31 July 2005 - 07:04 AM

A park ranger left the Chapin Pass trailhead Friday and has not yet shown up at the unnamed destination trailhead. This ranger is an experienced mountaineer and EMT in his fourth summer working at the park. He did not show up for duty on Saturday. RMNP spokesperson, Kyle Patterson, said the batteries could be dead in the radio he was using. A group of 25, including rangers, park staffer, and rescue workers have been searching for the missing ranger. They search group has also been aided by the use of dogs and a helicopter.

Sources: The Casper Star-Tribune and The Washington Post


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#2 Allie

 
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Posted 31 July 2005 - 07:32 AM

Boy, I hope he turns up, and is well. That is scarey. I hope he was just having radio problems.
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#3 Aaron

 
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Posted 31 July 2005 - 07:46 AM

Okay, now it is known which trailhead he was supposed to show up at. His destination was the Lawn Lake Trailhead.

Source: The Denver Channel


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#4 smudge

 
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Posted 31 July 2005 - 09:41 AM

QUOTE (Aaron @ Jul 31 2005, 07:46 AM)
Okay, now it is known which trailhead he was supposed to show up at.  His destination was the Long Lake Trailhead.

Source: The Denver Channel
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FYI...they probably meant the "Lawn Lake" trailhead. As the trial to Long Lake is in the Indian Peaks.
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#5 Aaron

 
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Posted 31 July 2005 - 09:53 AM

QUOTE (smudge @ Jul 31 2005, 10:41 AM)
FYI...they probably meant the "Lawn Lake" trailhead. As the trial to Long Lake is in the Indian Peaks.


I wondered.....I didn't recognize a "long lake" and didn't take the time to figure it out. Ooops bag.gif

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#6 clickhiker

 
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Posted 31 July 2005 - 10:57 AM

Interesting route to check on backcountry visitors and campers. It sounds more as if he was going to bag a few summits along the way for pleasure. There may have been more camping sites developed over the years, but Lawn Lake or the Lost Lake areas are the only places I can think of for camping that make much sense. Unless he was out for some pleasure hiking as well, or to check on something not in the story, it would be more efficient to leave from the Lawn Lake Trailhead to get to the Lawn Lake camping areas. I don't think the Lost Lake area is used by many campers other than a few fisherpersons and Cheley Camp (I fished the Lost Lake area in 1967 or 68 as a Cheley camper).

If it was a part pleasure trip, then Desolation and Flatiron, or Rowe Peak may have been on his agenda and then back down to Lawn Lake. Especially D and F would make it a very long and tiring hike. I hope he didn't try the decent to Spectacle Lakes from the "Y" on Ypsilon which can be treacherous.

In any event since he has experience, he is probably prepared if only slightly injured. Maybe if there had been one of those much maligned cell transmitters within reach of him, he would be in a warm bed somewhere nursing a sprained ankle or such already. Let us pray they find him well. Those backcountry Rangers provide a tremendous service in helping to keep Rocky a safer place to play.
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#7 Aaron

 
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Posted 31 July 2005 - 01:49 PM

They've now identified the ranger as Jeff Christensen, 31, of Fraser. He also is a Winter Park ski patroller.

Source: The Casper-Star Tribune


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#8 smudge

 
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Posted 31 July 2005 - 02:20 PM

Often, backcountry rangers will do a wide patrol in the summer months. I met a woman on the summit of Taylor Peak that was doing just that. While not technically a "pleasure hike" they do enjoy what they are doing. They do it for a number of reasons...status of trails, conditions of summit routes, to answer questions from hikers, check back country site and cross country zones, etc...
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#9 clickhiker

 
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Posted 31 July 2005 - 08:05 PM

QUOTE (smudge @ Jul 31 2005, 03:20 PM)
Often, backcountry rangers will do a wide patrol in the summer months. I met a woman on the summit of Taylor Peak that was doing just that. While not technically a "pleasure hike" they do enjoy what they are doing. They do it for a number of reasons...status of trails, conditions of summit routes, to answer questions from hikers, check back country site and cross country zones, etc...


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Granted, but there are no "trails" as such other than cross tundra cairns possibly, or marks from slides in the scree until someone gets off Fairchild down to Crystal as I remember (it has been more than 30 years since I did Faichild.

Likewise with summiting Taylor (no trail unless made by the Elk), unless one has been added from Andrews Glacier. The conditions in late July (at least this year) are in little doubt, and as I said earlier, I know of no back country sites up on the Mummy ridges or slopes. Maybe he was checking for animal populations or something. 11 a.m. is pretty late to get a start up from the Chapin Pass trailhead. Was there any bad weather that afternoon in the Park? Whatever he was doing, I hope they find him soon, and alive.

I've been hurt before in the Park and rescued on the snowbank between Flattop and Notchtop in the late 60's. Fortunately I was with a large group who were able to get help within 3-4 hours. I had to be lowered on a litter down the snowbank and carried out to Bear Lake. I will be forever grateful for the Park Rescue people. Maybe my experience gives me a reason to advocate that cell phones can be more than just a Park nusiance.
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#10 Aaron

 
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Posted 01 August 2005 - 06:56 AM

UPDATE: No sign of missing ranger yet. Sunday there were at least 50 people searching for the missing ranger. Two helicopters were also searching, one equipped with an infrared device.

Source: Grand Junction Sentinel


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#11 Aaron

 
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Posted 01 August 2005 - 11:04 AM

UPDATE:

Today over 125 people are expected to be searching for missing ranger Jeff Christensen. The search will continue to focus on the mummy range.

Park officials are asking for help from visitors who might have seen Jeff in the Mummy Range area on Friday or Saturday to contact the park at (970) 586-1204 to help determine where he might have been seen last.

Source: Rocky Mountain News

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#12 Aaron

 
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Posted 01 August 2005 - 11:11 AM

I found another link from a website for a TV station in Salt Lake City, KUTV. This link has a video clip of the anchors interviewing Kyle Patterson. There is also a picture ranger Jeff Christensen on the page. Click Here for the link to KUTV with video/pic!!


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#13 digelt

 
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Posted 01 August 2005 - 12:10 PM

He is in my thoughts and prayers. I look forward to hearing that they find him in the very near future - perhaps a little bumped or bruised - but otherwise just fine. =)
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#14 uncleben

 
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Posted 01 August 2005 - 10:03 PM

I thought the members might like a little info from the "insider" point of view,. i Just got home from a shift at the Beaver Meadows entrance station ( 9:30 PM) I personally talked to several of the people who have been searching for Jeff, and they tell me that they have so far found no trace of him. The search will resume at 1st light tomorrow. As you can imagine, the Park Rangers are a small close-knit group, and we all feel affected by him being missing. Please keep Jeff in your prayers, many of the people who work with him here and at his winter job as a ski patrolman are working the search. I am too old and beat up to try to search in that high rugged country, so I have volunteered my backcountry day scheduled for tomorrow to one of the younger rangers, I will work his schedule tomorow, so he can assist in the search. As an aside, both Old Fall River Road and the Upper Beaver Meadows road are closed, so those areas can be used as staging areas for the search. The parking lot at the Beaver Meadows visitor center is filled with media satellite trucks. Will keep you informed of any pertinent information I receive.
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#15 Aaron

 
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Posted 01 August 2005 - 10:10 PM

Thanks for the info uncleben!!

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