Rocky Mountain Park Rangers Search for Hiker Missing for Over 2 Weeks

by Halle Ames

Rocky Mountain National Park Rangers are entering their second week of searching for 24-year-old hiker, Steven Grunwald.

On August 29, New York native, Steven Grunwald, was attempting the Glacier Gorge Traverse. He has not been seen since, says a press release from the National Park Service.

The search for Grunwald started on Friday by park rangers after a friend reported him missing on Thursday.

The Glacier Gorge Traverse is a challenging hiking trail that goes across 11 summits over 19 miles in the Rocky Mountains. Parts of the hike include fifth-class climbing, which requires scaling up vertical rocks using a rope.

Grunwald’s brother, Sean Garrison, told CNN that his brother is a skilled hiker and climber. He has completed the Pacific Crest Trail, as well as most of the peaks in the Adirondacks in New York. He has also hiked in locations across the US and Mexico.

Garrison also added that his brother had attended Ranger School and survival classes.

“My brother is kind of a free spirit,” he said. “He spends a lot of his time hiking and venturing the woods. He does a lot of rock climbing. He’s an ultramarathon runner. He is a mountain climber. He’s smart.”

Grunwald’s last communication with his family was more than two weeks ago in Boulder, Colorado. Rangers have found his car parked at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead on Thursday, officials say.

Description of the Missing Hiker

The National Park Service says that the young man can be described as a 5 foot 6, fit runner with a background in backpacking, climbing, and backcountry experience. Grunwald is 145 pounds with medium-length curly brown hair. He is thought to be wearing a brown beanie, yellow pants, a blue top layer, glasses, and blue or red shoes. The young man also might be wearing a green climbing helmet.

The search was stalled due to winter weather conditions above 10,000 feet on Friday. Areas here saw 8-10 inches of snow and 50 mph wind gusts.

The Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Teams have been searching numerous peaks on foot, but the hazardous conditions have made the rescue effort difficult.

The search has also taken to the air to locate the missing hiker.

A spokesperson with the Rocky Mountain National Park says that their concern is that ten days have passed since his disappearance, and they weren’t sure if Grunwald was prepared for the weather condition.

Garrison asks anyone who has seen his brother or knows anything about the difficult hike on August 28 or 29 to call the tip line at 888-653-0009.