Colorado hiker, 23, vanishes in Rocky Mountain National Park

May 15, 2024 | Latest News | 0 comments

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A 23-year-old hiker has vanished while scaling the tallest peak inside Rocky Mountain National Park, officials say. 

Lucas Macaj of Colorado Springs was last heard from early Sunday afternoon “when he texted a friend indicating that he was on the summit” of the 14,259 ft. Longs Peak, according to the National Park Service. 

The NPS says “significant storms moved through high elevations in the park” later that day and Macaj’s vehicle was still parked the following morning at the Longs Peak Trailhead after being reported missing Sunday night. 

The search for Macaj has been ongoing, but it was “hampered by strong winds, white-out conditions and low visibility” on Tuesday, the park said. 

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Park officials say the search has included usage of “heat sensing fixed-wing flight and ground teams on the Longs Peak Trail to the Ledges on the Keyhole Route. 

“Search efforts have also taken place on the Boulder Brook Trail,” the NPS adds. “Air reconnaissance has focused on the Keyhole Route including The Ledges, The Trough, The Narrows, The Homestretch and the saddle between Longs Peak and Mount Meeker. Park rangers are also continuing investigations.” 

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Authorities describe Macaj as being 5-feet 9-inches tall with brown hair and green eyes. 

“He is likely wearing a dark colored top, tan or brown pants, khaki-colored boots, and a black backpack,” the NPS said. “He may also be wearing a beanie and dark colored gloves.” 

Macaj was trying to summit Longs Peak by way of the Keyhole Route when he vanished. 

In a description of the mountain, the NPS warns that “The Keyhole Route can experience winter-like conditions at any time, requiring greater skill and judgment” and to “Be prepared to turn back during sudden, drastic weather changes.” 

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