American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Colorado: (2) Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1952

Colorado: (2) Rocky Mountain National Park. On 16 July 1951 a party of 13 from the Young Men's Christian Association Camp near Estes Park made a hiking trip from the Fall River Museum to Ypsilon Mountain. The party cut down the gorge between Mt. Chiquita and Mt. Ypsilon, apparently during the descent. One man in the party went halfway down the gorge on rock and then cut over to the middle of a snowfield. There he started to slide out of control. Although not injured physically, he was so emotionally upset that it was necessary for rescuers to carry him out on a stretcher.

Source of information: report by the Superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Analysis. A number of accidents of this type occur in our western mountains each summer. Hikers and inexperienced climbers are unaware of the speed which is attained and the injury which is likely to be sustained in uncontrolled slides down steep snowfields. Respect for steep snow should be repeatedly emphasized in the indoctrination prgorams of all climbing clubs. In general, the rule for hikers and improperly equipped climbers should be to keep off snowfields.

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