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Fall on Rock, Protection Pulled Out, Colorado Longs Peak

FALL ON ROCK, PROTECTION PULLED OUT

Colorado, Longs Peak

On April 15, Randy Joseph (33) fell suddenly and without warning during a lead on Longs Peak of Alexander’s Chimney. Conditions were mixed thin ice and bare rock, with protection mostly rock devices. Joseph had removed his crampons for a short stretch. He fell about ten meters, pulling out a stopper. Joseph sustained a fractured fibula and displaced tibia on his left leg. His belayer, Jim Scott, assisted him in rappelling three pitches to Lamb’s Slide and in struggling to Chasm Lake. While Scott went for help, Joseph crawled to the Chasm Meadows Cabin. Rangers met Joseph at the cabin, and he was flown out from Chasm Meadows on the following morning. (Source: Rocky Mountain National Park Rangers)

Analysis

Joseph is a highly skilled climber and former Longs Peak ranger. His efforts in getting from the climb to the cabin with a painful injury in winter conditions are quite noteworthy. Mixed climbs on large alpine peaks in winter conditions are inherently dangerous. This is an example of a team which was prepared for, and effectively dealt with, an emergency which could have ended up in a fatality for a less qualified team. (Source: Rocky Mountain National Park Rangers)