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Fall on Rock, Climbing Alone and Unroped, Exceeding Abilities, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Meeker

FALL ON ROCK, CLIMBING ALONE AND UNROPED, EXCEEDING ABILITIES

Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Meeker

On July 29, 1992, Mrs. Melinda Boyer reported that her husband Gary Boyer (35) was overdue from a July 28 solo attempt of Mount Meeker. The ensuing search effort in stormy weather by park rangers and a contract helicopter culminated at 1455 with the discovery by rangers Dave Herrick and Andy Brown of the body of Gary Boyer. He was found about 400 feet up technical terrain in the gully on the right side of the East Arete on Mount Meeker. Recovery efforts included a technical litter lowering, several hundred feet of scree evacuation, and a 0.25 mile litter carry to a backcountry helispot, where the victim was picked up by helicopter after inclement weather had subsided.

Analysis

An investigation into the accident revealed that Boyer had attempted the 5.7 rock face on Meeker solo and unroped. A hiker had seen a person believed to be Boyer near the summit ridge, unroped solo, and apparently having some difficulty ascending a section of steep rock at 1200 on July 28. Based on the extent of Boyer's injuries and the position of the solo climber as witnessed, it is believed that Boyer died as the result of a slip on rock resulting in a 1000 foot fall. Boyer had been climbing once or twice per year for four years. (Source: Jim Detterline, Longs Peak Supervisory Climbing Banger, Rocky Mountain National Park)