Body recovered following search efforts in Rocky Mountain National Park

Amy Golden
Sky-Hi News
On Sunday, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members were shuttled by Northern Colorado Interagency Helitak to the saddle between Taylor and Powell Peaks in the continued search for Steve Grunwald.
Courtesy RMNP

A search team has located a body believed to be that of a New York man in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Officials said on Monday, a body was located in the Notch below McHenrys and Powell Peaks in Rocky following efforts to find 24-year-old Steven Grunwald.

A friend reported Grunwald missing on Thursday and park rangers found his vehicle parked at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead on the same day. Search efforts for the man began on Friday, though they were hampered by poor weather.

His last contact with family and friends was Aug. 28. His exact route was unknown, but it was believed he may have been attempting the Glacier Gorge Traverse on Aug. 29.

The Glacier Gorge Traverse is an expansive route including 11 peak summits over roughly 19 miles. It entails sections of fifth class climbing and difficult terrain.

Rocky Mountain National Park rangers completed an on-scene investigation and recovery operations took place by helicopter Monday. The body was transferred to the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.

Larimer County Coroner’s office will not release identification until completion of an autopsy. The cause of death is under investigation.

Park searchers camped Sunday night near Lake Powell and resumed search efforts at sunrise Monday. Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park was Northern Colorado Interagency Helitak. A team consisting of a park ranger and members of Front Range Rescue Dogs were flown to the Thatchtop area. Officials said the dog team aided in finding Grunwald.

Investigative leads from an established tip line and from speaking with Steve’s friends were helpful, officials added. This assisted in defining the search area.

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