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Fort Collins trail runner missing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Searchers continue to look for and investigate the disappearance of a 49-year-old Fort Collins man who was reported overdue Friday when he failed to return from a planned 28-mile trek over the Continental Divide. 

Chad Pallansch, described as a fit runner with trail running and marathon experience, was last heard from at noon Wednesday. 

Rocky Mountain National Park rangers are looking for Pallansch over a wide swath of territory with ground crews and aircraft. 

Chad Pallansch. Rocky Mountain National Park

Pallansch started his journey Wednesday at the East Inlet Trailhead near Grand Lake. He planned to hike on and off established trails, potentially visiting Lake Verna, Mount Alice, Chiefs Head Peak, Black Lake, Mills Lake, and Flattop Mountain before exiting the wilderness at the same point he entered. 

After Pallansch was reported overdue Thursday, park staff confirmed his vehicle was still parked at the trailhead. 

Search efforts Thursday were concentrated at the trailhead and along the North Inlet Trail, and also near Mount Alice. Friday's searches were conducted in the upper reaches of Glacier Gorge, at Thunder Lake in Wild Basin, and between the North Inlet Trail and Solitude Lake. 

Chad Pallansch Rocky Mountain National Park

Pallansch, measuring 5-feet-7 and 155 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes, is likely wearing a black ultralight jacket, black running shorts or leggings and a grey fanny pack. 

Searchers are asking anyone who may have seen Pallansch, or who were hiking or camping in those areas where he planned to be, to contact RMNP's investigators via phone line (888) 653-0009, website ( or email (   

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