One dead, two injured in Rocky Mountain avalanche

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team during an incident in the Mount Meeker area, May 29, 2022. - Rocky Mountain National Park via National Park Service

(BOULDER COUNTY, Colo.) -- A climber died and two others were injured in an avalanche on Sunday in Rocky Mountain National Park.

A rock fall and avalanche were reported near the Dreamweaver Couloir on Mount Meeker at about 9 a.m. local time, according to the National Park Service. Climbers nearby witnessed the avalanche, the service said in a statement.

“Three individuals were involved in the incident including a female and two males,” Kyle Patterson, park spokesperson, said in a statement.

Rocky Mountain National Park launched a search-and-rescue operation with help from the Colorado Search and Rescue Association, Flight for Life, the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Front Range Rescue Dogs, Med Evac and the Colorado National Guard.

“Rescue teams are working in terrain above 11,500 feet and are experiencing winter like weather conditions,” NPS said.

When a “weather window” opened up at about 2 p.m. local time, a helicopter from nearby Buckley Air Force Base flew in to help extricate one of the male climbers, NPS said. Using a winch-operated cable, the helicopter freed the man, who was then flown to Medical Center of the Rockies, NPS said.

Searchers located the body of the second male climber in the avalanche debris at about 5:15 p.m. on Sunday, NPS said.

“The recovery operation will be delayed due to winter weather conditions,” NPS said in a statement.

The female climber involved in the avalanche suffered minor injuries, NPS said. The names of the victims were being held until their families were notified, NPS said.

ABC News' Will Gretsky and Timmy Truong contributed to this report.

Monday, May 30, 2022 at 6:24AM by Kevin Shalvey, ABC News Permalink