American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Colorado, Eldorado Canyon

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1960

Colorado, Eldorado Canyon—On October 17, Darryl Christensen (19), Raymond Jacquot (20), Keith Hull (21), and George Cardon (22), attempted a climb known as Red Guard Wall in Eldorado Canyon, 10 miles southwest of Boulder, Colorado. They crossed the creek and walked one quarter of a mile to the base of the wall where they roped up. Christensen started up the first pitch, tied in to a ?-inch nylon rope. The pitch was well fractured sandstone and tended to be rotten. He advanced 50 feet driving two pitons and using one old piton. When about 10 feet above the old piton the rope lodged in a crack about 30 feet from the ground. As he stretched to snap into another piton while delicately balanced, the tension in the rope pulled him off balance and he fell. Jacquot was belaying and when he came to the end of the rope Jacquot let it run for about another twenty feet stopping him about twenty feet from the ground. He was lowered to the ground where necessary first aid procedures were carried out. All climbers except Christensen had passed an advanced course in first aid. Hull ran about one half mile to Eldorado Springs and telephoned the Boulder Sheriff’s office.

The Sheriff’s office notified the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group which arrived on the scene with about a dozen members. They performed an excellent evacuation from the base of the cliff to the waiting ambulance, and Christensen was in the hospital within an hour of the time he fell.

Christensen suffered three chipped lumbar vertebrae and lacerations of the scalp. He was held in the hospital for three days for observations and then was released to return to the University of Wyoming. At the time of this report, he is fully recovered and is active in climbing and caving.

Source: Raymond Jacquot, President, University of Wyoming Outing Club.

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