Two experienced female mountaineers, Connie Yang and Suzanne Turell, from Maine are currently trapped near the summit of 14,259-foot Longs Peak in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park.
They sent cell phone texts between 9:07am and 9:12am Thursday September 12th, 2013 to Connie’s Sister:
Rangers and friends have tried calling the women’s cell phones to no avail.
“They are very experienced but they didn’t have mountaineering equipment. We are really worried. They wouldn’t call for help if they didn’t really need it. “I don’t think they were prepared for winter conditions.” – Kate Ketschek, friend and co-worker
A search party was sent out on Thursday, but flooded roads and road closures turned them back before even reaching the trailhead. Another team was sent today, but was also forced back due to road closures. Power appears to be out in the park right now and phone calls are not going through.
“There have been a couple of attempts to get search teams out, but the roads are impassable due to all the heavy flooding in Colorado — the area is in a state of emergency — so it’s been nearly impossible for anyone to even reach the trailhead, and visibility has been too poor for a helicopter to go in.” – Connie and Suzanne Need Help webpage
“At this point our objectives are:
– that the forest rangers put a sizable party together and do their very best to get to Connie and Suzanne as soon as possible;
– that the rangers authorize the military to help their effort, particularly the Special Forces school at Fort Carson;
– that the National Guard send a helicopter at the first opportunity knowing the weather is going to get worse over the weekend.” – Connie and Suzanne Need Help webpage
Colorado has been getting pounded by heavy rain during the past few days with some locations receiving up to 10 inches of rain. Many areas are flooded, rivers are overtaking their banks, and many roads have been destroyed. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the Colorado Springs and Denver areas.
We’re all hoping for a happy ending to this challenging situation.