American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Colorado, Grand Giraffe

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1964

Colorado, Grand Giraffe. On 29 September, Warren Bleser (26) was leading the last chimney of the Grand Giraffe, a difficult 5.8 class climb in Eldorado Springs Canyon. He was belayed by Quinn and had reached the last difficult move, inside a chimney. He was standing on rounded holds and attempting to place a piton for protection. Either through fatigue or slipping, he came off his holds and fell about 40 feet, stripping out three pitons below him. He fell free and as he came in contact with the wall again, he put his hands in front to cushion the shock. The impact broke both wrists, and he also hit his head against the rock. After he hung for quite some time, Quinn lowered him to a ledge about 70 feet farther down the face where Bleser could sit. Quinn then recovered the ropes and rapelled to the ledge. Rescue was affected by local climbers and the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group.

Source: Jonathan Hough.

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