The search for Chad Pallansch continued Thursday in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 49-year-old Fort Collins man was reported late on September 28.
He was last heard from around noon on September 27. A text message was received at this time stating that he was almost at the top of Mount Alice and about miles from the Bear Lake area. Park rangers confirmed his vehicle was still parked at the North Inlet trailhead on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Pallansch started from the East Inlet trailhead near Grand Lake on September 27. His reported route was a 28-mile route that included crossing the Continental Divide and traveling on established trails as well as off-trail travel through steep scree slopes. Potential travel areas include Verna Lake, Mount Alice, Chiefs Head Peak, Black Lake, Mills Lake and Flattop Mountain.
Investigators say he had never attempted this route before, but is an experienced trail runner who has completed several routes in the park, including Longs Peak, more than 30 times.
Pallansch is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall and 155 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, and is considered a fit runner with experience in both trail running and marathon running. He’s probably wearing a black ultralight jacket, black running shorts or leggings, and a gray fanny pack. Pallansch had a personal navigation system with him, but the device was not designed for emergency assistance.
Search efforts included ground teams and an aerial search, including thermal-sensing fixed-wing flight. In the field, teams covered areas including the North Inlet and East Inlet trails, Mount Alice, Black Lake, Upper Glacier Gorge area, Thunder Lake, Lion Lakes, Sandbeach Lake, Boulder-Grand Pass, Lowell Peak, McHenry’s Peak, Arrowhead, Thatchtop. , Stone Man Pass, Chiefs Head Peak, West Pagoda Ridge, Andrews Glacier, Upper Chaos Canyon and Tyndall Glacier areas.
Helicopter flights took place on Thursday and are planned again on Friday. Weather permitting, ground searchers and dog teams will be flown to several locations on Friday. The RMNP said that in order to limit olfactory distractions and improve the efficiency of dog teams, a closure is in effect starting Thursday at 6 p.m. from Mount Alice to McHenry’s Peak, including Black Lake and Lion Lake 1 , Lion Lake 2 and Snowbank Lake.
So far, search efforts have yielded nothing.
Additional information about Rocky Mountain National Park:
If you have any information that could help investigators, have seen or know Chad Pallansch, or were in the areas listed above on September 27, please contact us. You don’t have to tell us who you are, but tell us what you know. CALL the National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau tip line 888-653-0009, ONLINE form go.NPS.gov/SubmitATip or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members include Larimer County Search and Rescue (LCSAR), Grand County Search and Rescue (GCSAR), Rocky Mountain Rescue Group (RMR), Front Range Rescue Dogs (FRRD ), Colorado Search and Rescue Association. (CSAR), an aircraft from the State of Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC), Northern Colorado Interagency Helitack (US Forest Service), and a helicopter contracted by Trans Aero.