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Fall on Rock, No Hard Hat, Colorado, Longs Peak, The Diamond


Colorado, Longs Peak, The Diamond

While leading the second pitch of the so-called “Casual” route on The Diamond face of the east face of Longs Peak, Milton Strickler (30) fell from a point approximately 30 feet above and 30 feet to the left of his belayer, George Bracksieck (30). According to Bracksieck, Strickler sustained painful head and back injuries causing him to lose consciousness for a short period of time immediately following the fall. Bracksieck lowered his injured partner 155 feet to the large ledge known as Broadway, then rappelled down to him. After making Strickler comfortable, Bracksieck descended the North Chimney route and ran to the Longs Peak Ranger Station to report the accident. Ranger Chris Reveley, who was on Peak Patrol that day, made it to Strickler’s location in 30 minutes at 11:06 a.m. and radioed that a litter evacuation from Broadway Ledge was required. Ranger personnel were airlifted to the base of the east face, then ascended the North Chimney and commenced with the 600-700-foot cliff evacuation. The evacuation was completed and the patient loaded aboard a helicopter just at dark and flown to a hospital where he was diagnosed as having a fracture of a thoracic vertebra. (Source: Chris Reveley and Larry Van Slyke, Rocky Mountain National Park)


The “Casual” route on The Diamond should maybe be renamed the “Casualty” route due to the number of climbers who have taken leader falls on it and sustained injuries. Because of the extent of traversing leads with little protection, long pendulum falls result when a climber becomes detached from the rock. The route is casual in name only. (Source: Larry Van Slyke, Rocky Mountain National Park)