American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Colorado—Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1953

Colorado—Rocky Mountain National Park: (1) On July 10, 1952 John H. Tallmadge (21) said he was going to climb Hallet Peak and Flat Top Mountain the same day. Employees at Bear Lake Lodge advised against this because of the length of the climb, and the lateness of the hour of his planned departure. He reached the summit of Hallet Peak where he talked with a party whom he had followed to the summit. He did not return with them by the easy route of ascent as he preferred to take what he called “a short cut.” It was not until four months later that his body was found 1000 feet below the summit of Hallet Peak on the south side. He had apparently fallen 200 feet and had been killed instantly. Tallmadge had probably started his descent over the many steep cliffs on the south side. One of these probably led him

to a dead end, and while trying to find another way he must have fallen. The details are lacking, but as nearly as could be determined by the rescue group he fell 50 feet straight and then tumbled another 150 feet down the rock slope.

Source: Newspaper; Report Rocky Mountain National Park.

Analysis: Lone climber, inexperienced, attempting more than he should.

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