American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Climbing Unroped, Exceeding Abilities, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Little Matterhorn

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1993


Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Little Matterhorn

On August 16, 1992, at 1000, Jon M. Hofstra (23) fell about 1000 feet while descending unroped from the summit of the Little Matterhorn down the fourth class and lower fifth class northeast chimneys route. Partners Todd Feenstra and Andrew Tenbrink were able to continue their descent, reaching Hofstra in an hour. It was determined that Hofstra was dead, and Rocky Mountain National Park Rangers were contacted to conduct a helicopter recovery of the body.


Hofstra and his partners were climbing an easy technical route without rope and proper belay techniques. The Hofstra group was an enthusiastic but inexperienced team on a day off from a University field camp. (Source: Jim Detterline, Longs Peak Supervisory Climbing Ranger, Rocky Mountain National Park)

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