23-year-old hiker found dead in Rocky Mountain National Park after a fatal fall

The body of a 23-year-old hiker, who went missing earlier this week while climbing the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, has been discovered by search crews.

Late on Thursday night, the park made an announcement stating that Lucas Macaj had been found on Mills Glacier near Longs Peak. According to preliminary investigations, it appears that he had taken a significant fall.

According to park officials, an on-scene investigation was conducted by Rocky Mountain National Park rangers, followed by recovery operations via helicopter. The body was then transported to a landing zone within the park and subsequently transferred to the Boulder County Coroner’s Office.

Macaj’s last communication was a text sent to a friend on Sunday afternoon. In the message, he mentioned that he had successfully reached the summit of Longs Peak, which stands at an impressive 14,259 ft., according to the National Park Service.

Lucas Macaj vanished after sending a text to a friend on Sunday, stating that he had successfully reached the summit of Longs Peak, according to the National Park Service (NPS).

Multiple agencies, including the Colorado Army National Guard, joined forces on Monday to launch a search operation. The National Park Service (NPS) reported that the search for Macaj involved various methods such as air reconnaissance, ground teams, and dog teams.

According to the NPS, “significant storms swept through the high elevations in the park” on the day Macaj disappeared. The next morning, his vehicle was still found parked at the Longs Peak Trailhead after being reported as missing.

The search for Lucas Macaj spanned multiple days this week and involved numerous agencies. On Thursday, May 16, his body was recovered in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Macaj, a member of the U.S. Space Force, disappeared while attempting to summit Longs Peak via the Keyhole Route.

Lucas Macaj’s vehicle was discovered parked at the Longs Peaks trailhead on Monday morning, according to officials from Rocky Mountain National Park. This came after he was reported missing the previous night.

According to the National Park Service (NPS), Longs Peak’s Keyhole Route may encounter winter-like conditions unexpectedly, which demand advanced skills and decision-making. Therefore, hikers are advised to be ready to retreat if there are sudden and severe weather shifts.

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