By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - Crews rescued a 19-year-old Canadian climber stranded on a ledge at 13,000 feet (3,940 meters) in a rugged part of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, a park official said on Wednesday.
The climber, identified as Samuel Frappier of Quebec, had been in an “extremely precarious” perch on Longs Peak, about 60 miles (97 km) northwest of Denver, before rangers reached him, park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said.
Frappier was airlifted off the mountain and taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he will be evaluated, Patterson said.
Patterson said Frappier called authorities on Tuesday night from his cell phone to report that he had become separated from his climbing partner and got stuck while descending the summit.
Frappier is an inexperienced mountain climber, had no technical climbing equipment and was ill-prepared for the chilly conditions on the mountain, where temperatures dipped to near freezing overnight, park rangers said.
Some 38 rescuers spent all day Wednesday setting up a staging area on the mountainside, and crews aboard a helicopter surveyed the area, scouting for a place where they could get close to Frappier, park officials said.
Crews moved cautiously as they encountered rapidly melting snow and ice on the steep mountain that caused rock falls, which could have imperiled both rescuers and Frappier, Patterson said.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)