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Hopefully this guide will help those looking for it, as other sites online are a bit spotty with directions. Glenn Kostal has three children and has been married for almost 35 years. Wichita State plane crash survivor takes on a mission of remembrance The first time Rick Stephens descended Mount Trelease, near Silver Plume, Colorado, he faded in and out of consciousness. On Friday, October 2, 1970, a pair of Martin 404 twin-engine aircraft took off from Wichita, Kansas, carrying the Wichita State University (WSU) football team, coaches, and VIP supporters. We were very rushed, climbing as quickly as we could! Paul and Kelly Harrison help plane crash survivor Rick Stephens hike up the steep Rocky Mountain grade to the site of the Wichita State University football team plane crash Stephens survived 50 years ago. Seems a miracle that anyone survived, as it had to have been very difficult to get to the crash and rescue people. We weren’t able to stay at the crash site very long, Because the sun was setting, so I would like to come back another year and spend more time there. Pay attention to Verns review, spot on information there. There is a large, fenced-in storage area to the right. I couldn’t believe how much wreckage is there, 50 years later. His writings reflect his personal passions: adventure, science, exploration, philosophy, animal welfare and technology. while this is a short trail, I might rate it closer to hard than moderate for the angle, tree fall and places here the trail is washed out. Great trail to a somber site. My husband’s cousin was engaged to one of the young men who perished. You can see Loveland ski area from the site and hear I-70. One of the planes proceeded to Utah via southern Wyoming, avoiding Coloradoâs high mountain wall. Yesterday we did! A hand-painted memorial marker within the debris. There is a little parking area. That was amazing. The day we went 2 members of the team that were on the other plane were visiting the site. Trees and shrubs were gapped out nicely and outside of a few very short sections, the off-trail aspect was steep but easy to navigate. It led to one of the more unlikely games in college football history. A roadside memorial plaque listing the names of the victims is located near the Colorado crash site, adjacent to westbound Interstate 70. The saddle between the Citadel and Pt. Before going under the I-70 bridges, turn sharply right onto a flat dirt road. After admiring the views for a while, we opted to head down a little bit west of the path we had ascended. On a personal note, while I find mountain wrecks fascinating, the humanity of the situation is never lost on me. You’ll want to follow the left path, which is unmarked. Note that before driving to the trailhead for Dry Gulch, you may want to make a quick visit to the memorial to the victims of the crash. I was unsure if I was on the right trail because it would keep disappearing and then reappearing again. Many downed trees also. quick hike. We would of missed it. the steep section is less than four tenths of a mile. I educated my girls on the tragedy that befell these people, and we paused for a moment of silence in their honor. Both airplanes refueled at Denverâs Stapleton Airport. I opted to leash up my pups at this point so that they wouldn’t be off-leash near I-70. It is a short hike to the crash. (8:03) on the trail we met a group from Wichita, some of whom are survivors and others from the other plane that took a route over Wyoming. It’s pretty easy to find and note that you never actually go into Dry Gulch — the wreck area is on the south side of Mount Trelease, facing I-70. A memorial to a Wichita State University teammate killed in the plane crash Sept. 23, 2020, hangs from a piece of the 40-seat, Martin 404 twin-engine plane lying on the side of Mt. I’m 63 and I thought my hiking days were over! We were surprised how long they were (around 200 – 250 feet) and how steep the angle was. The little-known memorial stands as a tribute to the 31 people who lost their lives when a plane carrying the Wichita State football team crashed while traveling to a game at Utah State â¦ Still accessible but take your time and again, poles will help! None may be as fascinating or sobering as the wreckage of the 1970 Wichita State University crash. It is a very steep climb to the next part. Wichita State constructed a memorial for those who died from the crash called Memorial â70. Morgan Anderson. I know it is a short distance but bring hiking poles if you have them. In 1968 a small plane carrying two passengers en route to Las Vegas crashed in the Wichita Mountains in southern Oklahoma. I found it to be a great hike to acknowledge a piece of history without hope of ever repeating it. Very interesting. Very steep at first, would recommend hiking poles as they helped us tremendously. The next 1/4 mile is very steep and after having to go around to the right of the trail due to 5 or 6 dead falls blocking the trail you will see a small pine tree on the right with rocks all around it. I have always wanted to make the journey to the location of the crash. From the gate, head northeast up the road. Thank you Vern. I’m 63 and she’s 60. Bicyclists riding to Colorado to remember victims of 1970 Wichita State football team plane crash KWCH Staff 10/4/2020. When I got to the crash site it was a very humbling experience. Turn left and follow that single track for about 1/4 mile to the crash site. Plane crashes are a reality in the mountains and part of the history of our Rocky Mountains; how one chooses to appreciate this fact is up to the individual. It was a sign trail starts off up a dirt road. Upon closer inspection, the breadth of the carnage will become apparent. Large debris field with large pieces of wreckage strewn about. This sent me back to the tragic day, 50 years ago, when Randy was killed. a Denver news channel was with them to record the visit to air in October to coincide with the 50th anniversary. About three months before the crash, Wichita State contracted Golden Eagle Aviation to supply a Douglas DC-6B, to fly the team to away games for the 1970 season. It will be easy to follow until it levels off. took my brother from Kansas to pay our respects. Very somber at the site. What an incredibly moving sight to see. Of the 40 on board, 31 died either in the crash or as a result of injuries sustained in it. Wichita State Plane Wreck is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silver Plume, Colorado that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. So rather than head into the forest trail that slowly dissolves in the basin, we started up a few hundred feet west of the fenced in area. Just looking at the wreckage, it's a miracle that there were any survivors of this crash. So stay on the steep, more-trodden trail. While the plane didn't arrive where it was expected, it wasn't found until hikers stumbled onto the wreckage three months later. The hike is not difficult if you are used to hiking in the mountains. The sight of the wreck is a somber place so please be respectful. WSU Plane crash On 2 October 1970, a twin-engine plane carrying Wichita State University football players, staff and supporters crashed near Loveland Pass enroute to a game in Utah. Distance to Mount Bethel / Snow Fences: 2.9 miles / 2,280 vertical feet. The hike along an unmarked (but easy to find) trail is about a mile and the area is still densely littered with twisted metal. You’ll know that area when you see it. She Later married another player who was on the other plane. We used this app to guide us. If you can experience this trail I strongly suggest taking a moment, A moment of silence for peace for all those that perished there, 5/23/20. Beautiful along the way and lots of trees for shade. There’s tons of other adventures waiting in Dry Gulch — Mount Trelease, Golden Bear Peak, Hagar Mountain, Pettingell Peak the Citadel and even the terrain of Loveland ski area can all be reached from this area. Wichita State will hold its annual memorial for the plane crash at 9 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Memorial â70 landmark on campus. A really interesting hike. âRandy and I played football at Clinton High School. Pay attention and watch for carns. I knew almost every one of those killed. Above treeline, the slopes open up a few hundred feet below the epic snow fences. Trail is not in great shape but easy to follow. Living with the Wichita State Crash Glenn Kostal. It is also very helpful to have the map downloaded. On Oct. 2, 1970, Wichita State lineman Mal Kimmel boarded a plane with his teammates for their game against Utah State. Understanding the 1970 Wichita State football plane crash Two planes carrying Wichita State University football players, coaches, administrators and fans refueled on Oct. 2, 1970, in Denver. Reaching the Wreck Site 31 out of the 40 people on board were killed. Overview map of the Dry Gulch area. Great experience. They were bound for Logan, Utah, to play the Utah State University Aggies the following day. I hiked Grays Peak the day before and I met an older woman with a beautiful white German shepherd. on the trail we met a group from Wichita, some of whom are survivors and others from the other plane that took a route over Wyoming. Paul and Kellyâs cousin Martin was a team equipment manager who died in the crash. At about 10 feet tall, they are secured into the mountain by some crazy strong cables. Directions Very steep. lots of fallen trees on the way to the wreckage. no snow today, dry trail. Downloaded the All Trails app and it took us right to the crash site. The memories of the 31 people who died in a plane crash on Oct. 2, 1970 â including 14 members of the football team, 14 staff and boosters, and three crew members â are honored every year at Wichita Stateâs Memorial â70 observance, but survivors, friends and family choose to remember their loved ones by hiking up to the crash site located on a mountain west of Silver Plume, Colorado. At 1:14 PM, the plane collided with Mount Trelease. But once you arrive to the plane remains, you may have a sense of calm and remembrance and peace, hopefully. Best advice is that the actual trail to the plane wreckage is before you cross the creek where the storage area is at. Be warned, it goes up about 600 vertical feet in a short distance. Very somber but interesting. Very satisfying day, very thought provoking. We’re in good health but definitely not athletic! The four-engined DC-6 was a large, powerful aircraft that could accommodate the entire team. The wreck happened on October 2, 1970. The hike along an unmarked (but easy to find) trail is about a mile and the area is still densely littered with twisted metal. The charred wreckage of N464M lies on a Colorado mountainside some hours after the crash. at the very moment the steep incline begins to taper a bit, carins and stone arrows have been placed to guide you to the crash. A worthwhile hike, for sure. This trail is not EASY if you are going to the actual wreck. The app was a life saver! take your first sharp right onto a dirt road and follow to a closed gate. I set off with Richard and my border collies, Fremont and Mystic, for a full day of exploring Dry Gulch. it isnt necessary to take the tunnel, exit and approach from eastbound. The crash involved one fatality, the pilot. Too snowy for late May... try again late June. The plane hit the side of a mountain and 31 people were killed. The field of debris extends south (downhill) and off to the east. Wichita State players remember their 'second season' 50 years later (8:03) Wichita State was devastated by a tragic plane crash 50 years ago. The Wichita State plane crash is often forgotten and overshadowed because of a â¦ We just took it slow and stopped for breaks. Sports editor for The Sunflower, Sean Marty, observes the 1970 Wichita State plane crash site on Sunday, Sept. 27 near Silver Plume, Colorado. You Can Explore A Hidden WWII Plane Crash On This Mountain Hike In Vermont. a Denver news channel was with them to record the visit to air in October to coincide with the 50th anniversary. At this large digital sign at mile marker 217, pull off to see the memorial site. My sister and I are from Wichita and have been wanting to do the hike for a while. The single track starts there. 44 years after the October 2, 1970 crash, gnarled aluminum and crumpled metal gears are eerily unrusted. It’s about a 3.2 mile round trip up and down Bethel, depending on your off-route planning. The trail was steep, as well described by others. Forty-four years ago, a plane carrying the Wichita State football team crashed in Colorado. at the top by the fence you can either continue straight for a lovely hike through a meadow or be on the lookout on the left for a small clearing that goes straight up to get to the wreck. If you overshoot this turn off, just remember to aim left (south) downhill after the steep section of the trail levels off. It really makes you wonder what the pilot was doing flying at such a low altitude given the geography of the area. Epic Fremont with Dry Gulch in the distance. Never miss a story Choose the plan that's right for you. Golden Eagle Aviation did not own the DC-6, but had an arrangement with the Jack Richards Aircraft Company to use it. About 0.8 miles in, the steep trail will flatten out just past a bit of a marshy area on your left. Paid respects. Poles a most. Because it is a relatively short outing, it’s worth combining a visit to the wreck with a climb up Mount Bethel, the Citadel, Point 12,671 or any other of the rolling summits in the area of Dry Gulch. It is a very sad site to know that 29 people died on site and 2 more later. While Richard and I explored the ruins, it was sad to consider how young the men and women on the plane were. From the start of this trail, you are less than half a mile from the crash site. People were also awesome and left hiking sticks at the start of the trail. I feel that they are all at peace. There was a cairn To mark the trail so I followed it up, it’s almost a mile incline and then the trail goes down words to the left. The off-trail work in treeline has plenty of open spaces. The 1970 Wichita State football plane crash was one of the worst in Colorado aviation history. The hike through the trees gets very steep; so though it is a short hike, I wouldn’t call this easy. I’m so grateful for this life. As a former Shocker, this was a hike I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I wrote up an overview on the area for Elevation Outdoors that gives a good idea of what’s out there. 50 years ago, WSUâs football team was flying through the Dry Gulch when the plane crashed into the side of a mountain on Oct. 2, 1970. Worth the hike up. Fifty years ago today â Oct. 2, 1970 â I walked into the student newspaper office at Utah State University expecting to be given media credentials for the first college Greg Hansen: Remembering the Wichita State plane crash, 50 years later | Greg Hansen | tucson.com My 16 and 11 year old daughters and I completed this hike and felt a sense of accomplishment as the beginning of it was very strenuous and severe. It looks like an old 4×4 or ATV path and goes steeply uphill and as of 2014, it was unmarked. The pieces of wreckage show almost no wear from the elements after 50 years of being up on the mountain. There will be a reception immediately following the remembrance on the Cessna Stadium concourse. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips. A somber summit. Finding it was a surreal moment, realizing the magnitude of the tragedy that happened there. It was well worth it. He has frequently visited Colorado to hike back to the crash site. When you see a fenced in area on the left there is a pile of rocks with a stick in them on your left. The trail is an old access road that was used to reach the wreckage site. Though the elevation wasn’t too bad at 12,500 feet, the steepness of the last push to the summit is a real burner. Wichita State Plane Wreck. I did have my dog with me and he did fine too. At this point, the trail seems to faintly go both left (downhill) and straight through some trees. James is a best-selling author and writer based out of Boulder, Colorado. Just before the fenced area, there is an area on the left side of the road (before the creek) that looks like an old parking area. We did see a hiker while we were at the wreck and he came from this trail; it actually goes just below the wreck site. Click for a larger size. It’s steep, very steep at the beginning. We wanted to honor those who perished, as well as those who survived. I assume this is a shortcut to wreck, though I would advise skipping it and staying on the main trail. After paying your respects, return the way you came back to the broad road into Dry Gulch. A young man from our Hometown, Belle Plaine, was on the plane, and was one of the nine Survivors. The slope is relentlessly steep (poles were my best friend) but going through the foliage was quite fun. Though the beauty of nature is definitely itâs own reward, sometimes itâs nice to embark on a hike that will take you somewhere really cool. Despite the steepness, the footing is solid nearly all the way down and the slopes will eventually merge with the Dry Gulch hiking trail. It was touching to see what many had left behind. As the crow flies, the debris field is less 0.2 miles from I-70. Quite an accomplishment giving that one of them has cancer and in very poor health. Most of the metal has been shattered into unrecognizable shapes, though we saw some hydraulics that could have been wheel supports, a cooling unit of some sort and a few painted sections from the shell of the plane. A pair of Martin 4-0-4s(which had not flown since 1967) wâ¦ Follow this road a short distance to a metal gate; this is the parking for Dry Gulch. Would recommend doing this for seeing history and paying your respect to the victims. Turn left. There are several memorial objects, including a tombstone with the Wichita State football helmet and a few faded flags with the names of the victims. It was awesome. only had shorts and flip-flops, A decent climb with a sobering destination. The Martin 4-0-4 was carrying members of the Wichita State Football team, their assistants and a 3-person flight crew. Make sure to pull over far enough to the right so other cars can park and vehicles have access through the gate itself. Wow. According to Wikipedia, he was trying to take a scenic route but hadn't properly examined his maps to plan a safe route. Wichita State University memorial engraved with the names of the crash victims. The accident report reveals that the crash occurred when a non-certified pilot "departed on a cross-country flight to relocate his airplane for maintenance." Path to the wreck site as seen from Mount Bethel. By taking this path, you’ll approach the wreck in a few hundred feet from above. Epic Mystic. It is moderate and nothing technical. Richard at the turn-off point for the steep trail to the wreck site. Great short hike to pay respects to the lives lost in a tragic accident. An excellent article on the crash from 5280 can be found here while Wikipedia’s page on the wreck is quite informative and has good links to detailed reports. This is the informal trail to the wreck site. that day I felt I was supposed to be there. Difficult to remain on the trail without the use of this app. Each year on Oct. 2 at 9 a.m., a wreath is placed at this memorial. Leash ‘em up! I’m amazed at how much of the wreckage is still intact. This trail in Vermont will actually let you explore the wreckage of a real WWII plane crash. Tip: exit 216 from westbound I-70. The hike is on a gravel road for the first .4 of a mile. Definitely needed a hiking stick. Looking west to the Citadel, Hagar Mountain and Pettingell Peak. There are no trails to Mount Bethel’s summit; the majority of the hike up will be above treeline. Of the 40 people on board, 29 died at the scene. About midway up, there is a cairn that seems to point to a very faint trail. Loose rock and downed trees so poles or hiking stick is helpful. This is the most accessible and most dramatic of Coloradoâs plane wrecks. Nice hike to a sombering site. Lost off bullshit trails off to the left. First up was finding the wreckage site. 12,671. Simply put. After the agreements were made, the DC-6 was damaged and was unavailable for use. It was easier to find that first day because my heart lead the way. The area is cleared out and at first it’s difficult to tell if you are looking at downed, gray timber or metal. The sâ¦ To reach the parking area for Dry Gulch, take exit 216 off I-70 westbound(Loveland Pass / Loveland ski area). There’s a sandy pull off where you can park. I sat for a while and then it began to snow. © James Dziezynski & Mountainous Words Writing 1997 - 2014, article on the crash from 5280 can be found here, overview on the area for Elevation Outdoors, Mount Edwards – Goatfinger Couloir Scouting Trip, Goatfinger Couloir – Mount Edwards – Trip Report, Watrous Gulch 4 Pack: Four 13ers in a Day, Rocky Mountain National Park – Insider’s Guide, Pandemic Journal – Day 1 – Our Very Own Plague. Photo by Travis Heying via Paul Harrison Over the years, I’ve visited quite a few plane wreck sites in Colorado. Once you get to where all the rocks are stacked at the top of the mountain hang a left and just follow the trail. While it’s perfectly acceptable to head into Dry Gulch a bit farther and head up the saddle between Point 12,671 and Bethel, our crew had a blast simply grinding up the south ridge and slopes. It was a bit overwhelming to be there, but I am blessed for having made the effort. This is a site to see for sure. Wichita State Plane Wreck is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silver Plume, Colorado that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. There is so much wreckage still and memorials. well marked. It was something I have always wanted to do. They never arrived. Quite a steep trail in certain sections I stopped to talk to her dog and pet him. Than straight up. The wreckage of the plane has never been removed.The survivors and many family members and friends of the victims hike to the crash site annually on October 2 to remember the 1970 Wichita State football team. Steep but short trail. 29 of the 40 people on board were killed in the crash and two more perished after rescue, making for a total of nine survivors (including the co-pilot who was flying the plane at the time of the crash). the steep section is less than four tenths of a mile. I was in Middle School when the crash occurred. Trail is very steep after you head up from the road. there will be highway traffic noise for a bit as you ascend. Strangely, after the intersection the trail becomes more visible in a short distance. And she told me of this hidden gem Memorial buttons, slowly starting to rust. (John Putt) On the 2nd of October 1970, a chartered airliner carrying the Wichita State University football team took a detour to give the young players a close-up view of the Rocky Mountains. Vistors to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge can hike to the site and still see debris left behind from the crash. As the crow flies, the debris field is less 0.2 miles from I-70. That day, I cried. Stay on this trail as it climbs through the woods. Distance to Plane Wreck: 1.2 miles; 600 vertical feet Plenty of shade, but may want bug spray. Shattered remains of the Martin 4-0-4 have rested in the forest since October 2, 1970, when the pilot of the craft swept down into the box canyon along I-70 for a better view for the Wichita State football team on board. Please be careful if you have dogs, the highway is only 15 feet away with no fences. None may be as fascinating or sobering as the wreckage of the 1970 Wichita State University crash. 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