Search efforts for missing man in RMNP


On Friday, September 11, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers began search efforts for Steven “Steve” Grunwald, 24, of Greenville, New York. A friend of Grunwald reported him missing on September 10. Park rangers found his vehicle parked at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. His last contact with family and friends was August 28.

His exact route or destination is unknown, but it is believed he may have been attempting the Glacier Gorge Traverse on August 29. He was last seen in Boulder on August 28. The Glacier Gorge Traverse is an expansive route including 11 peak summits over roughly 19 miles. It entails sections of fifth class climbing and difficult terrain.

Grunwald is described as 5’6,” 145 pounds, brown hair medium length and curly. He wears black rectangular glasses. He is described as a fit trail runner, backpacker, and climber with backcountry experience. Clothing may include a brown beanie, yellow pants, a blue top layer and blue or red shoes. He may be wearing a green Camp climbing helmet.

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members covered terrain along the Continental Divide in exposed areas with loose rocks and scree fields, where accessible; including areas of Thatchtop, McHenrys Peak, and Powell Peak. Steep alpine terrain in areas with a north facing aspect were extremely hazardous due to snow and heavy ice build up. This hindered searchers from covering these areas. Aerial search efforts took place as well.

Search efforts were also hampered by weather conditions, including winter-like conditions of 8 to 10 inches of drifting snow, 30 degree temperatures, and winds of 50 miles per hour producing windchills of 11 degrees. This made visibility and probability of detection low to non existent.

Investigative leads have been positive from the established tip line and has continued to assist in defining the search area. If you have information that could help investigators, CALL or TEXT the National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau Tip Line 888-653-0009, ONLINE form or EMAIL