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CO CO - Micah Tice, 20, hiker, Rocky Mountain Natl Park, Longs Peak Trailhead, USAFA Cadet, 22 Nov 2018

Discussion in 'Missing Persons Discussion' started by cybervampira, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. scriabina

    scriabina Well-Known Member

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    If he had a bad fall and mortally injured himself, unfortunately all the supplies in the world will not do him any good.
     
  2. MsMarple

    MsMarple Well-Known Member

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    Is there an easier trail to Longs Peak other than through the Keyhole? I'm a casual - very casual! - day hiker so I don't know much about "real" hikes and climbing but what I've read about Longs Peak is that it's not considered a hike but rather a climb and once the trail ends at the Boulder Field it gets rough.

    According to the FAQ round trip is about 15 miles and takes 10 to 15 hours! That doesn't sound like what Micah told his parents. I understand no one knows his exact plan but if he was educated enough to invest money into proper gear then he had to know he couldn't do that climb in a few hours. The FAQ suggests starting out at 3 am!

    I feel stupid and would appreciate some input from seasoned hikers/climbers here. I must be missing something. Thanks guys!

    https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/upload/longs_peak_faq.pdf
    https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/upload/keyhole_route_2011.pdf
    14ers.com • Longs Peak | Route Description | Keyhole Route
    Hiking Trails - Wild Basin & Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  3. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    Micah Tice Missing: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com

    His mother has said that he was familiar with the trail and had packed thousands of dollars’ worth of survival equipment so he could live in very dangerous conditions if necessary. He was familiar with this route. He had hiked this trail with several groups before, and he purposefully wanted to go while it was snowing. She said he researched the hike and had purchased thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment for survival, including a Life Straw to be able to drink the snow. He also had a shelter for surviving underneath snow

    His mother said she knew something was wrong when the Air Force Academy called and said he didn’t show up to the base when he was supposed to. “He would be there on the dot, or well before.”

    Search crews have been searching the Longs Peak area, but strong winds forced them to keep their search below 12,000 feet on Wednesday.

    Air operations were also grounded because of the winds.

    They’ve been searching the Longs Peak Trail, East Longs Peak Trail, Granite pass, and Jim’s Grove areas, along with Estes Cone, the Boulder Brook Trail, the Storm Pass area, and the Roaring Fork Drainage area. The standard Keyhole route on Longs can include more than 15 miles of hiking and difficult terrain. The outing takes about 10 to 15 hours. Best practices recommend getting to the Keyhole portion of the hike around 2 to 3 a.m., accounting for a 12-hour round trip.

    Ryan Albert is still missing. After searching for Albert for 28 days, crews had to suspend their efforts on November 2 until the summer.

    Ryan Albert's thread on WS: CO - CO - Ryan Albert, 30, Climber, Rocky Mountain National Park, 4 Oct 2018

    ___

    [​IMG]
    Mom hopeful missing Air Force cadet from Las Vegas will be found
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  4. GraceG

    GraceG Well-Known Member

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    Here's a couple videos of the route during the summer. I have hiked the lowest portions of the route (my daughter lives in Colorado) but we didn't even attempt the higher elevations - it's a climb more than it's a hike and it has the potential to be treacherous on a good day. Doing it this time of year?

    Climbing Longs Peak - The Keyhole Route - July 6, 2016 via @YouTube

    Longs Peak Hike via @YouTube
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  5. cybervampira

    cybervampira Well-Known Member

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    RMNP: Park visitors reported seeing, talking with missing Air Force student

    [...]

    Park officials on Thursday said that park visitors who were in the Longs Peak area on Saturday spoke with Tice for about 20 minutes. Tice told the visitors he had set out from the Longs Peak trailhead at 6:30 a.m.

    The visitors last saw Tice in the vicinity of the Battle Mountain area, between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. as weather condition began to deteriorate. Tice was reportedly wearing a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, a black hat, black lightweight gloves, tennis shoes and a light blue backpack

    [...]
     
  6. not.a.muggle

    not.a.muggle Well-Known Member

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    Ugh, tennis shoes and cotton :(
     
  7. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    Has there ever been a report on the time of his last cell phone signal? I've only seen Saturday, but don't remember seeing a time. The location was I 25 and East Woodman, which in order to google distance I selected a hotel on that intersection. He would have needed to leave at least 2:30-3:00am in order to leave for the hike at 6:30. More detail would be helpful to narrow this timeframe.

    Google Maps
     
  8. PinkPrincessPoop

    PinkPrincessPoop Well-Known Member

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    I commend Micah for going in so prepared. This is often something we see lacking from many other missing hikers. It sounds like he knew what he was getting into, but he probably fell victim to the types of things that no one can ever prepare against - tripping and head smacking against the ground, falling over a cliff or down a crevasse, etc. He seemed to be aware of the treacherous weather and decided to go in - alone - anyways. I do wish more people would think of the search and rescue efforts that take so much time and money (and sometimes cost other people their health) first but you cannot take away the adventurousness out of people, I guess.
     
    mickey2942 and Tripod like this.
  9. cybervampira

    cybervampira Well-Known Member

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    Park visitors provide more information about missing hiker in Longs Peak

    [...]

    Searches continued on the ground in the Longs Peak area Thursday, focusing in and around the Longs Peak Trail, East Longs Peak Trail, Granite Pass, and Jim’s Grove area. Crews also searched in the Boulder Brook Trail and the Storm Pass areas.

    The Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team was assisted by Rocky Mountain Rescue, Air Force Academy Mountaineering Club, Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol, and Larimer County Search and Rescue.

    In the third day of the search for Tice, crews continued to face extreme weather, including chest-deep snow, a high avalanche danger, strong wind gusts and bitter wind chill.

    [...]
     
  10. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    What? How the heck can you search for a missing person if the snow is almost over your head? And if he could be under all that snow. Yikes. My extreme respects to SAR Ski Patrol, AF Academy and ARM rescue. Bravo.

    ETA Oh yeah I bolded....It needs to be bolded. Wow...just wow!
     
  11. MsMarple

    MsMarple Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, cybervampira! This new information fleshes out Micah's hike a bit more. Based on what he was wearing - a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, a black hat, black lightweight gloves, tennis shoes and a light blue backpack - it's hard to believe he intended to summit Longs Peak, especially since he had done prior research on the proper equipment. Like not.a.muggle said - cotton. Cotton is not your friend in the current mountain conditions. And sturdy footwear is a must.

    OTOH, apparently it's possible to summit Longs Peak in about 5 hours minimum and 7+ maximum so Micah may have felt he would return by late afternoon. If he didn't stop at all he could theoretically be back by 4:30 pm. But IMO that's pushing it and doesn't take into account winter weather conditions. MOO.

    Again, I'm not well versed in this kind of hiking so I look forward to hearing what y'all have to say!

    It's a pity he didn't tell the people he spoke with where he was headed.

    https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/upload/keyhole_route_2011a.pdf
    Longs Peak-Keyhole Route: Frequently Asked Questions - Rocky Mountain National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
    ProTrails | Hiking Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park
     
  12. MsMarple

    MsMarple Well-Known Member

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    Hikers report seeing Air Force cadet candidate in Rocky Mountain National Park
     
  13. Blueberry2720

    Blueberry2720 Today would be a fine day for an arrest.

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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  14. ElementalLaura

    ElementalLaura Well-Known Member

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    I wish I could share his mother’s optimism. It sounds as though he bought the supplies this past summer and it’s not clear he actually had any winter survival gear with him on this hike. If the description of his clothing is accurate, he wasn’t prepared for winter weather in general and certainly not for a winter storm at altitude. I noticed the hikers reported he had a light blue backpack. I wish the article would have included any observations on his gear.

    His thought process isn’t adding up. Maybe it’s naïveté? He may have hiked the trail before, but no experienced hiker/climber/backpacker would recommend doing so in winter storm conditions. I thought maybe he had a companion because sometimes the dynamic of two people can drive decisions that each would reject individually. He seemed to have some concept of an EPIC winter hiking trip that he was emulating.

    I’m sadly thinking he won’t return from this trip, and we may never know why he set out on it in the first place. JMO, and I hope I’m wrong. My thoughts are with his loved ones and with the SAR pros.
     
  15. TatianaBarbie

    TatianaBarbie Well-Known Member

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    I wish that the msm article had stated the time he had talked to the other hikers, not just the length of the conversation. According to the trail map on alltrails, he would have hiked about 1/3 to 1/2 of the inbound Longs Peak--Keyhole Route. I would put a link to the map, but www.alltrails.com requires you to register to see the bigger map. It is free to register, and I have used this site for about 5 years to get information on hikes.
     
  16. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    The group hiked with Tice for about 20 minutes. They said they last saw him between 7:30 and 8 a.m., “as visibility and weather conditions continued to deteriorate.”

    Missing Air Force Academy cadet candidate spotted near Longs Peak on Saturday
     
  17. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking the same way as you are. Tennis shoes alone is mind boggling. And what kind of serious winter hiking gear could he be carrying in a light pack. I bet you're onto something with the desire to do something "epic" and obtain some sort of unique bragging rights. And I to bet he underestimated what it would truly be like on Longs Peak in November during a winter storm. That peak is epic enough during summer months. Still hoping he is found hunkered down somewhere he could shelter, but my hopes were low to begin with. As time passes, hope wanes.
     
  18. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    Upthread, post #45 states that they talked to him around 7:30-8:00am. If he had left the trailhead at 6:30, then that puts him an hour- to an hour and a half into his hike. Depends in weather by this time and also incline of the hike how fast he could cover this distance. jmo

    ETA.
     
  19. mickey2942

    mickey2942 Well-Known Member

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    That was the EXACT thought I had, "Tennis shoes"?! For serious hiking? I thought maybe they were grip shoes someone thought were tennis shoes. But up there, you really need boots for the hike.

    The most important safety measure we try to hit home, is never go on a hike alone. Happens almost every year that a young man, ends up missing and dead at Glacier Park. Usually found by other hikers, a fall...sadly.
     
  20. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    Glacier NP is a beautiful place. I have hiked there, but never alone. In fact, I only hiked alone once in my entire hiking life. And that was in PA on a well-known, short trail, near our campground that I had hiked a zillion times before with hubby and others. Seems this case, like the other missing hikers over the past months, including Ryan Albert, who is also missing on Longs Peak, were hikers alone, who were somewhat ill-prepared. I'm not judge and jury here, or on any case, but I do believe that if they had not been alone, the chances would be greater that they would not be missing and possibly would still be alive. I wish the sense of self preservation were equally as strong as the sense of adventure in some of us humans. moo
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018

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