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Colorado, Independence Pass, Grizzly Peak

Colorado, Independence Pass, Grizzly Peak. On 8 August Michael T. Doyle (25) and Peter Abplanalp (25) were climbing Grizzly Peak from Grizzly Lake with Michael in the lead and Peter belaying. At the time of the accident Michael was climbing out of sight of Peter. According to Peter there was a rumble of falling rock and then he saw Michael hurtling past him. There was no outcry or warning. Michael was holding on to a large boulder and landed below where Peter was standing. Peter tried to take up the slack on the rope but found it cut. He climbed down to Michael but there was no sign of life. He returned to Grizzly reservoir to report the accident and to get help. Death was thought to be due to a crushed skull.

Source: Alfred Braun.

Analysis: On loose rock as we have in our area only one comment can be made: be very careful where you put your hands and feet. Test every hand and foothold before putting on your weight. Michael was not wearing any hard hat. Whether a hard hat would have protected him is not known.