ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK – Teams in Rocky Mountain National Park will continue searching Thursday for a missing Air Force Academy cadet candidate Micah Tice, who was reported missing on Monday.
On Thursday, park visitors told the Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team that they spoke to and hiked with Tice for about 20 minutes on Saturday. They say he was wearing a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, a black hat, black lightweight gloves, tennis shoes and a light blue backpack. Tice told them that he had started from the Longs Peak Trailhead at 6:30 that morning. The group last saw Tice in the Battle Mountain area, that was between 7:30 and 8 Saturday morning. That’s when visibility and weather conditions continued to deteriorate.
Tice’s mother arrived in Colorado Wednesday night and she will meet with search teams Thursday. Janice Tice said her son told her that he wanted to climb Longs Peak in more difficult conditions. She said her son was an experienced hiker who had climbed Longs Peak before. However, heavy snow and bitter cold moved in over the weekend, creating very difficult conditions.
Tice’s vehicle was found in the Longs Peak parking area late Monday afternoon. His parents, who live in Las Vegas, Nevada, last spoke to him at about 9 p.m. last Friday. The Academy said he told his parents he was going to do schoolwork and hike the following day. Authorities said he did not say which route he was going to take to climb Rocky Mountain National Park’s only 14er.
Search and rescue teams are fighting the elements as well. They had to limit their search below 12,000 feet on Wednesday and Thursday, without help from helicopters due to high winds. On Tuesday, a National Guard helicopter had to turn around on Tuesday due to reported 90 mph gusts at the summit of Longs Peak.
More poor conditions are expected to move in over the state starting Thursday, with high temperatures expected to be in the teens the rest of the week with snow moving in on Friday.