American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Colorado, Cliff between Rollinsville and Pinecliff

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1958

Colorado, Cliff between Rollinsville and Pinecliff—On 9 February, Paul A. Murphy (21) with four companions began climbing a nearly vertical cliff about 100 feet high, ¾ mile northeast of Rollinsville. At a point 75 feet above the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad tracks two of the party stopped on a ledge. The three others including Murphy were above them. Murphy tossed down the nylon rope and had the two secure it on a rock on the ledge. He then tied the rope to himself and began working down to the ledge on the rope when he slipped. Murphy who weighed about 200 lbs. struck the ledge on his back and tore the rope loose from its mooring. Murphy sustained a crushed skull, broken neck, internal injuries and multiple bruises and was killed.

Source: Newspaper clipping.

Analysis: This was obviously an inexperienced and inadequately equipped party.

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