He­li­copters search for LV hiker lost in Colo. park

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - FROM THE COVER - By Kate­lyn New­berg Con­tact Kate­lyn New­berg at knew­[email protected]­viewjour­nal.com or 702-383-0240. Fol­low @k_new­berg on Twit­ter.

The weather in Rocky Moun­tain Na­tional Park im­proved enough Satur­day for he­li­copter op­er­a­tions in the con­tin­u­ing search for a 20-yearold hiker from Las Ve­gas who was last seen a week ago.

Search and res­cue teams have en­coun­tered deep snow and high winds since Tues­day while search­ing for Micah Tice, a cadet can­di­date at the Air Force Academy Prepa­tory School, who was last seen in the Colorado na­tional park on Nov. 24. For the first time since Tues­day, weather con­di­tions cleared enough for two Colorado Na­tional Guard he­li­copters to search for the 20-yearold from the air in the Longs Peak sec­tion of the park.

The com­pany FLIR Sys­tems Inc., which de­vel­ops ther­mal imag­ing tech­nol­ogy, also vol­un­teered ser­vices and used fixed-wing air­craft to con­duct ther­mal imag­ing of the search area Satur­day, the park said. The com­pany also con­ducted a flight Thurs­day night.

De­spite the respite from wind, he­li­copter crews en­coun­tered strong gusts and cloud cover that low­ered vis­i­bil­ity on Longs Peak, the park said Satur­day.

Hik­ers who briefly walked with Tice last saw him along the trail near the Bat­tle Moun­tain area as “vis­i­bil­ity and weather con­di­tions con­tin­ued to de­te­ri­o­rate,” ac­cord­ing to a Thurs­day news re­lease.

Search and res­cue ef­forts have spanned about 10 square miles this week in the Longs Peak area.

Weather con­di­tions Satur­day in­cluded deep snow, high winds and freez­ing tem­per­a­tures, while crews were “mit­i­gat­ing avalanche dan­ger,” the park said.

Tice’s mother, Jan­ice Tice, has posted up­dates about the search on her Face­book page and through text mes­sages to the Las Ve­gas Re­view-Jour­nal.

On Fri­day, Jan­ice Tice asked for more skilled vol­un­teers through a Face­book video.

“I be­lieve with all your en­cour­ag­ing words he’s still alive,” she said in the video. “He is a survivor. That’s who he is.”

Park rangers asked any­one who has been in the Longs Peak area since Nov. 24 or who may have had con­tact with Tice re­gard­ing his planned route to call Rocky Moun­tain Na­tional Park at 970-5861204.

Micah Tice

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