American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Rocky Mountains of Colorado: (3) Kreuger Rock (near Estes Park)

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1949

Rocky Mountains of Colorado: (3) Kreuger Rock (near Estes Park). On 31 July 1948 Donald and Ralph Vodicka (15 and 17) were climbing on a rock spire called Kreuger Rock, near Estes Park. This pinnacle is easily climbed on one side; on the others, it drops off precipitously. The two boys ascended by the easy route and then attempted a descent by one of the steep faces. They had no equipment, and they were decidedly inexperienced. Donald slipped and, unable to arrest himself, fell a short distance. The older boy tried to reach him. Before he could, Donald lost his hold and fell 150 feet. He was instantly killed. Ralph returned to the top and descended to his brother’s body by the easy route.

Sources of information: newspaper accounts, and National Park Service (Rocky Mountain National Park).

Analysis. Young, inexperienced, untrained climbers, they went up by the easy way—and tried something more exciting on the way down. Again one is driven to emphasize the need for instruction.

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