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Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
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Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby mike_kadow » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:54 pm

Didn't see this posted yet:


A forty-three year old male is presumed dead from injuries believed to be sustained in a fall, likely occurring in an avalanche in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Search efforts began this morning for two overdue climbers from Estes Park. At around 2:45 p.m. park rangers found the forty-five year old female climber in the upper Fay Lakes basin approximately 6 miles from the Lawn Lake Trailhead.

Information provided by field teams has been hampered by communications, however it's been reported that she and her partner had been caught in an avalanche at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, when descending from the north side of Blitzen Ridge on the 13,514 foot Ypsilon Mountain. She suffered numerous injuries. Park rangers are providing her with assistance, medical care and are evacuating her via toboggan from Ypsilon Lake, which is roughly 4.5 miles from the Lawn Lake Trailhead. It is estimated that the team will reach the trailhead close to midnight.

The deceased man's name is David Laurienti. The name of the climber who rangers are assisting is Lisa Foster. Both are from Estes Park.

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Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby nyker » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:05 pm

RIP. Don't like to hear about these events. That's a shame.

Reminder to all those heading out, to be safe and don't be afraid to turn around if you're not feeling it.

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Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby madbuck » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:22 pm

anna wrote:Having spent so much time in her RMNP guidebook these past few months, we almost consider her an honorary member of our family. Wishing her and her rescuers a safe journey tonight. Our thoughts are with her and with the families of both Laurienti and Foster.


Well said. Regards and hopes for both families.
Just pointed out her excellent guidebook to my wife at Kind Coffee in Estes again yesterday, hinting at it as a birthday present. I've asked about her at the coffee shop and Mexican place next door, always hoping to run into her there or in the backcountry. Still hoping she recuperates and gets back to what she loves, and very sorry for Mr. Laurienti and his family.

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Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby susanjoypaul » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:26 am

Horrible news. So very sorry for Mr. Laurienti and his family. What a tragedy.

Lisa has been the topic of conversation in several threads here, for her guide to RMNP, and when she finished the grid on Longs. I wish her a full and speedy recovery. I cannot begin to imagine what she's been through.

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Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby Coucher73 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:14 am

What a tragedy.

Here's to a speedy recovery for Lisa. I'm sure it probably isn't that simple though...

Lisa's RMNP guidebook might very well be the best hiking guidebook for any location that I have ever seen. It is incredibly thorough.

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Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby Mindy » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:25 am

madbuck wrote: Just pointed out her excellent guidebook to my wife at Kind Coffee in Estes again yesterday, hinting at it as a birthday present. I've asked about her at the coffee shop and Mexican place next door, always hoping to run into her there or in the backcountry. Still hoping she recuperates and gets back to what she loves, and very sorry for Mr. Laurienti and his family.


Tragedy indeed. I was given her guidebook as a Mother's Day present years ago (from Kind Coffee)... it has been my favorite guide book for sure. We will be thinking of Lisa and David, and their families and friends as well.

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Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby Doctor No » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:56 am

Very sad to see. RIP, David, and good luck with the healing process (physically and mentally), Lisa.

Like many, I've enjoyed her guidebook - it has certainly saved me many hours from wandering aimlessly (although it's probably also caused me many hours of wandering aimfully).

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Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby ap snow » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:29 am

This one hits close to home... RIP David and heal up Lisa. If anyone is interested in providing food for the families during this tragic time please contact me.

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Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby mike_kadow » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:08 am

As of 1:30pm yesterday:

Rocky Mountain National Park rescuers arrived at the trailhead with Lisa Foster at 1:00 a.m. this morning, Tuesday, March 19. They were assisted in the evacuation by Larimer County Search and Rescue. Foster was transported by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center. Specific information on her injuries will not be released. Over 32 park rescuers were involved in yesterday and today's efforts plus six members of Larimer County Search and Rescue.

This morning a six-person team will attempt to locate Mr. Laurienti's body and conduct an investigation, if weather and avalanche conditions allow. Foster reported his body to be in the upper Fay Lakes area north of Ypsilon Mountain. The weather forecast continues to call for high winds with gusts exceeding 60 mph at times, blowing and drifting snow and very cold temperatures above 11,000 feet. The body recovery efforts will take place on another day when weather and conditions allow.

David Laurienti, forty-three years old from Estes Park, is presumed dead from injuries believed to be sustained in a fall, likely occurring in an avalanche. Search efforts began yesterday morning, March 19, for Laurienti and Foster, two overdue climbers from Estes Park. At around 2:45 p.m. park rangers found Foster, forty-five years old, in the upper Fay Lakes basin approximately 6 miles from the Lawn Lake Trailhead. Ms. Foster and Mr. Laurienti had been caught in an avalanche at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, when descending from the north side of Blitzen Ridge on the 13,514 foot Ypsilon Mountain. Foster suffered numerous injuries. Park rangers provided her with assistance, medical care and evacuated her via toboggan from Ypsilon Lake, which is roughly 4.5 miles from the Lawn Lake Trailhead.

Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Mountain is a challenging mountaineering route that includes sections of technical rock, often made more difficult in winter conditions. Recent snow and winds have contributed to what the Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasted as considerable avalanche conditions in this area since Saturday. Ypsilon (pronounced ipp-salon) Mountain is located north of Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.


And as of 5:45pm yesterday:

At 2:00 p.m. this afternoon David Laurienti's body was found in the Upper Fay Lakes drainage on the north slope of Ypsilon Mountain. His body has been protected and moved to a more secure location. The six-person park team who located his body will be coming out of the backcountry tonight.

Tomorrow, park rangers will evaluate alternatives for the safe recovery of his body. This will be dictated largely by weather, wind and avalanche conditions.


RIP David
Get well soon Lisa

Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby Steve Climber » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:42 am

Thanks for the update. RIP David. Best wishes for full and speedy recovery to Lisa.

Be careful out there everyone!
Dave B wrote:And/or line thy helmet with tin foil and realize this is a freaking mountaineering website.


Steve Climber wrote:So that's your backpack, huh?

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Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby mike_kadow » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:52 pm

Lisa's husband sent out an update yesterday: She is in stable condition.

And it sounds like some of her injuries may take some time to heal.

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Re: Fatality near upper Fay Lakes Basin

Postby unclegar » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:22 am

madbuck wrote:Just pointed out her excellent guidebook to my wife at Kind Coffee in Estes again yesterday, hinting at it as a birthday present.


As of yesterday, Kind Coffee was selling the book with all proceeds going to the victim's family. I have borrowed the book from the library numerous times in the past, but now have my own copy.
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