American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection—Carabiner Gate Came Open, Colorado, Eldorado Springs

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989


Colorado, Eldorado Springs

On April 3, 1988, a male climber (27) fell while attempting a difficult move and tried to grab a sling on the last protection piece while falling. Last protection piece was a bolt, and the carabiner sat snugly against the rock causing it to stay somewhat horizontal. When falling, the leader grabbed the sling; it was resting on the gate which was oriented up and the sling opened the gate. The leader fell five to ten meters, striking his head on the way down. The victim had no significant blood loss or internal head injury. Lacerations received no sutures. (Source: Eldorado Canyon State Park)


Use of two carabiners when clipping into a “cramped” bolt and not placing fixed bolts in such a way that the carabiner won’t hang free would be a solution for this situation. (Source: Eldorado State Park)

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