11 Army Special Forces Troops Airlifted Off Colorado Mountain PeakJune 3, 201601:26
Ten military Special Forces troops were airlifted from a Mountain Friday after some had trouble finishing a training exercise on the peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, according to officials.
A group of 11 soldiers from Fort Carson planned to climb Kiener's Route on Colorado's 14,259-foot Longs Peak Thursday, but three suffered from altitude sickness while climbing the peak, according to a statement from the 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson.
The 11 had to stay on the mountain overnight, which was "unplanned," but by morning were able to descend to a summit, said Rocky Mountain National Park Ranger Mark Pita. A helicopter began rescuing ten of the climbers from the summit on Friday afternoon after they called for assistance, he said. One person hiked down the mountain.
"We’re really happy with the good outcome," Pita said. "It went really smooth." More than 40 people were involved in the rescue operation, he said.
Pita said those who were rescued were tired and thirsty but in "good shape."
"I think it’s one of the most challenging mountains in the state," he said. "There's really no easy way up it."
Rocky Mountain National Park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said that information had circulated that the group was originally missing, but they never were. "We always knew where they were," she said.