- Associated Press - Thursday, January 29, 2015

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (AP) - Rangers in Rocky Mountain National Park have found a New York man who disappeared this week while hiking over a closed snow-covered mountain road wearing only tennis shoes, pants and a jacket.

Jay Starr Jr., 34, of Cohoes, New York, was found Thursday afternoon on Trail Ridge Road, park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said. Starr was flown by helicopter to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland.

Kelly Tracer, a spokeswoman for the medical center, said he was listed in fair condition Thursday evening.

Despite warnings from park rangers, Starr set out this week on the high-altitude road without a hat or gloves. He carried only a plastic grocery bag. Park officials contacted relatives to see if they had any information on where he was and where he was going.

Starr had walked into the park and told them he was planning to walk westbound over Trail Ridge Road, where the highest point reaches 12,180 feet. It is the highest continuous paved road in the United States.

Conditions on the road range from bare wind-blown asphalt to snow drifts up to 6 feet deep, Patterson said.

On Tuesday, park rangers on skis contacted Starr above Many Parks Curve on Trail Ridge Road, about 8 miles up the mountain road. Starr fled up a dry section of the road and eluded them until darkness fell, rangers said.

On Wednesday, two teams of rangers, one from the east side of the park and the other from the west side of the park, battled 60-mph winds and blowing snow to try to find Starr’s footprints. They found no trace. That search resumed Thursday.


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