American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1951

Colorado: (3) Rocky Mountain National Park. On 9 July 1950 a party of three inexperienced youths, names unknown, was climbing a small rocky face, unroped. One of them pulled loose a large rock. He fell 10 or 15 feet, and rolled several hundred feet down a snow slope. He suffered from shock and received injuries on his head, back and arm, Two other parties nearby, one from the Colorado Mountain Club, with ropes, helped carry him across boulders and steep ledges, getting him off the difficult part just at dark. Here they were met by a rescue team organized by the Park Service; one of the original party had got word of the accident to them. With a stretcher, the injured man was taken out before midnight.

Source of information: a member of the rescue party.

Analysis: The party had a rope and new ice-axes. The boys apparently did a little rock climbing for the fun of it, without realization of the real possibilities of accident.

This is the usual case of overconfidence with inexperience and the result of lack of appreciation of the use to which mountain climbing safety equipment must be put.

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