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Colorado, Wellington Lake, The Castle

Colorado, Wellington Lake, The Castle. On 1 August George Long (15) and Larry Davis ( 15), members of Scout Troop 204 of Denver, had climbed the Castle. At about 15:50 they started down the rocks on the north side by the “pinnacle”. They each took slightly separate routes. Davis slipped and fell 60 feet to a ledge about 150 feet above the base of the Castle. Long went to Davis, realized help was needed, left a canteen with him and then climbed down the rocks to get help from another Scout Troop that had its camp close by. The South Suburban Christian Church had been holding a retreat in the vicinity. Several of their group were on the summit of the Castle when the accident occurred. They worked their way down toward Davis. They did not have a rope of sufficient length. They lowered individuals by means of a cotton clothesline. Three boys had been lowered. As David Roth (15) was lowered the “rope” broke and he fell suffering severe head injuries and landed on the same ledge within 50 feet of Davis.

The rescue problem was extremely difficult. Both victims had suffered severe head injuries and were near death with Cheyne-Stokes breathing. The terrain was technical (Class 5). It was night and the rescue group was not familiar with the terrain. There was a shortage of rescue personnel. David Roth was evacuated first via Stokes litter, the first 150 feet nearly vertical. He was given mannitol solution intravenously during the evacuation. He reached an ambulance at 03:00 on the 2nd. He survived. Davis was evacuated an hour after Roth but died on the way down despite artificial respiration and external cardiac massage.

Source: Charles Demarest.