ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK - A well known Estes Park author was severely injured in an avalanche in Rocky Mountain National Park that took the life of her 43-year-old hiking partner.
Search crews began looking for 45-year-old Lisa Foster and 43-year-old David Laurienti Monday morning after family members told park officials that the two failed to return home.
"It's been more than 10 years since we've had an avalanche fatality in the park," Kyle Patterson, spokesperson for Rocky Mountain National Park, said.
Family members of Laurienti say he and Foster, who had been friends and hiking partners for years, had actually left for a day trip on Saturday.
The two hikers were caught in an avalanche Sunday evening around 6 p.m. when descending from the north side of Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Mountain.
Crews came upon a severely injured Foster around 2:45 p.m. Monday in the upper Fay Lakes basin, approximately six miles from the Lawn Lake Trailhead.
They were able to load her into a toboggan and travel the four-and-half miles to the trailhead, which the team said they reached by 1 a.m. Tuesday.
From there, Foster was taken by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center. Her condition has not been released, though a hospital spokesperson said Foster was stable enough to be moved to another medical facility.
Lisa Foster wrote "Rocky Mountain National Park: The Complete Hiking Guide."
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecast considerable avalanche conditions in the area where the pair were hiking.
"They either fell and caused an avalanche or an avalanche caused a fall," Patterson said.
Family members of Laurienti say David is survived by his wife and two children.
A fund has been set up for any donations through The Bank of Estes Park under the Laurienti Family
Fund or at:
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