Two Climbers Rescued on the Diamond of Longs Peak
On the evening of Tuesday, July 11, 2023, park rangers received a report of two climbers stranded and unable to complete their climb on Longs Peak. Neither party was injured. Rangers remained in contact with both climbers overnight and Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members set out at first light on Wednesday, July 12.
The two climbers set out on the morning of July 11 from Chasm Lake and began to ascend the Casual Route on the East Face of Longs Peak, also known as the Diamond. The climbers were unprepared for conditions on Longs Peak and did not have the equipment necessary to self-rescue or to spend an unplanned night in cold temperatures.
Members of Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team were involved in this rescue operation. NPS staff assisted the two climbers out of steep technical terrain. After climbing to the summit, the two climbers and the NPS rescue team came down together via the North Face of Longs Peak and hiked out, returning to the Longs Peak Trailhead on Wednesday evening.
At 14,259 feet, Longs Peak is the highest elevation peak inside Rocky Mountain National Park and towers over all other summits. Climbing Longs Peak is a serious objective with serious outcomes. For most of the year, Longs Peak is in winter conditions, which requires winter mountaineering experience and knowledge of equipment. Disregard for the mountain environment any time of year has inherent danger. All climbers should have knowledge of climbing routes, the necessary equipment and knowledge to self-rescue, and necessary gear in the event of an unexpected overnight stay on the mountain.