Helicopters took to the skies over the Rocky Mountains as preparations are made for an intensified ground search for Missing Hiker, Chad Pallansch, a 49-year-old hiker from Fort Collins, Colorado, who has been missing for over a week, according to the National Park Service.
Pallansch was last in contact on September 27 when he sent a text message indicating he was nearing the summit of Mount Alice in Rocky Mountain National Park. His planned hike covered a 28-mile route, encompassing established trails and off-trail terrain. He was reported overdue on September 28.
Standing at 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing around 155 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, Pallansch is in good physical condition. He is an experienced runner, having completed marathons and trail runs.
Unfavorable weather conditions, featuring snow, ice, and wind, have impeded ground search efforts. However, helicopters were deployed on Thursday as part of preparations for a more intensive ground search operation, set to begin soon.
Landing zones have been identified for teams to land in the field, with operations scheduled to commence on Friday.
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Search teams, including canine units, have already scoured the area on foot, while aerial searches equipped with heat-sensing technology have also been conducted. Poor weather conditions on Wednesday at higher elevations hindered these search efforts.