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Chock Failure—Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Deer Mountain Buttress

CHOCK FAILURE—Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Deer Mountain Buttress. On August 15, John Purvis (22) and Dennis Laird (24) were climbing a vertical technical route on the Deer Mountain Buttress. The route was mixed free and aid. Purvis was approximately 100 feet above his belayer at 10 a.m. when the anchor (#3 wired stopper) he was standing on popped out and Purvis fell 30 feet before his belayer checked his fall. Purvis sustained a fractured left tibia and a deep laceration over the break. Laird was able to lower Purvis to a ledge, applied first aid and went for help. On receiving the report Rangers Logan and Anderson were dispatched to the scene with Mr. Laird, the med pack, evac bag and climbing equipment. Evacuation was completed successfully by 5 p.m. (Source: Larry Van Slyke, Rocky Mountain National Park)

Analysis: This kind of accident is becoming more common as the craft of chock and nut placement is still, for many, in the developmental stage. (Source: J. Williamson)