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Father of missing hiker pleads to Trump, Zinke for help

While not the typical type of post we discuss here I was drawn to it both as a father and a volunteer search and rescue team member with the Southern Arizona Rescue Association (SARA). As a parent I certainly emphasize with this young Cadet's father in his desire to get any and all resources mustered in the search for his son. That being said, anytime you put searchers into the field you are putting them at risk. When they are operating in high altitude and extreme temperatures, that risk factor goes up exponentially, regardless of how well trained they are. Rocky Mountain National Park ranges from an altitude of 7,800 to just over 12,000 feet. That's high altitude. The 10 day forecast has highs in the 20s and the lows near zero. That's cold as you know. Severe blizzard conditions existing on the mountain the day he left. He was not reported missing for three days. Again, while I emphasize with his family and cannot begin to imagine the pain and anguish they are feeling, there comes a point when it's simply no longer safe or reasonable to have searchers in the field. When the risk outways the potential outcomes. Clearly Rocky Mountain National Park feels they are at that point. Remember, when you go hiking, let someone know exactly where your going and when you'll be back. Carry a phone and ensure it's charged. Be prepared to spend the night in the field. Have a reliable source of light. Honestly evaluate your ability to complete your hike. I pray for his family. The Denver paper (link is at the end) has more details.

A missing hiker's father has called for help from federal officials including President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Benjamin Tice's son, 20-year-old Air Force Academy Cadet Micah Tice, has been missing for more than two weeks. His car was found at Colorado's Longs Peak trailhead, and search efforts began Nov. 27.

Rocky Mountain National Park officials suspended search efforts Tuesday but said new information and optimal weather could allow the search to resume later.

"President Trump: We plead for your help. Secretary Zinke has the ability to request military assistance, and we have thus far not received word that this was formally done, despite verbal understandings that this was done," Benjamin Tice said Friday at a news conference, according to Denver7. "Secretary Zinke: We plead for your help."

He also pleaded to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Gov.-elect Jared Polis (D).

Park officials issued a statement after the news conference. "First and foremost, our hearts continue to go out to Micah's family and friends," the statement said. "We cannot begin to understand the pain and anguish Micah's parents must be feeling, coupled with their helplessness in wanting to find their son. We also want to find Micah."

The statement also defended the park's search and detailed the military assets used, after Benjamin Tice criticized the National Park Service's efforts (Kieran Nicholson, Denver Post, Dec. 7). — CC

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