Successful Search in Rocky Mountain National Park

For the second time in less than two weeks another search in Rocky Mountain National Park for a missing hiker has turned out successful. The search for 61-year-old Brandt Everhart, who failed to return from a hike last night, wrapped up this afternoon when he was spotted with two other hikers.

Two weeks ago a search was launched for a Colorado couple, who later was safely found off-trail.

Mr. Everhart, who's from Suffolk, Virginia, headed down the Longs Peak Trail yesterday morning with a friend. The two later split up because of different hiking abilities. However, shortly before 9 p.m. last night Mr. Everhart's hiking companion alerted rangers that he hadn't returned to camp.

The two had planned to hike on the main trail to the Boulderfield, which is 6 miles from the trailhead. From that point, they planned to hike to the summit of Mount Lady Washington and come down the east ridge of Mount Lady Washington back to the main trail.

Park officials say Mr. Everhart was spotted from the air this afternoon near Chasm Lake and was being accompanied by two other hikers.

"He is walking and standing but appears exhausted," says park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson, who added that Mr. Everhart and rangers were expected to reach the Longs Peak Trailhead later this evening.


No wonder he seemed lost. From the Longs Peak Trailhead, the twosome would have started up the main trail. At a trail intersection, the companion probably zigged to the right toward the Boulder Field and on toward Mt. Lady Washington, while Mt. Everhard lagged behind and then zagged to the left and ended on the trail to Chasm Lake. Mt Lady Washington itself (herself?) is a big talus-bedecked hump w/ little or no defined trail, so if the searches had been looking there, they might not even had a clue as to where to look. What a relief that both searches ended so happily.

I am glad that this turned out well. However, they should never have split up.

In my training and experience it is the obligation of the stronger hiker to adjust their pace to their partner or slowest of the group.

You DO NOT abandon people on the trail!