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Durango runner reported missing in La Plata Canyon still not found

Rescue teams use all-terrain vehicles and air support to navigate trail loop
A runner was reported missing Sunday in La Plata Canyon. Search and rescue teams are using a Strava GPS route to track his location. (Courtesy of Metallic Minerals)

For the third day Tuesday, La Plata County Search and Rescue looked for a 29-year-old Durango man who went missing Sunday while on a run in La Plata Canyon.

Family members notified central dispatch of David Lunde’s disappearance about 7:50 a.m. Sunday. He remained missing as of Tuesday afternoon.

La Plata County, Montezuma County and Colorado search and rescue agencies searched the canyon using all-terrain vehicles and air support Sunday and were continuing their efforts Monday and Tuesday. The team was searching a Strava GPS route Lunde was taking called the “La Plata Enchilada,” said Sgt. Steve Reiter, with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.

La Plata County spokesman Ted Holteen said the “La Plata Enchilada” is an ultra running route that covers a loop between 20 and 40 miles long with trails that navigate around Madden, Gibbs and Parrott peaks.

He said it has been tough to track Lunde’s location because of the various routes the loop presents.

“They don't know his last reported area. There's as many unknowns as there are known,” Holteen said.

Search and rescue teams found Lunde’s vehicle parked near the trailhead to Madden Peak which is where the search and rescue teams began their search.

Holteen said weather most likely played a factor in Lunde’s disappearance.

“He ran up into the mountains in a rainstorm that probably could have been half snow at times,” Holteen said.

Holteen said the search and rescue teams should complete their search by the end of the day Tuesday, however no timeline was given for the remainder of the rescue mission.

tbrown@durangoherald.com

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