American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falling Rock, Idaho, Rocky Canyon

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1994


Idaho, Rocky Canyon

On Sunday, April 25, I was involved in a rock climbing accident in Rocky Canyon and was able to experience technical rescue from the patients perspective.

David Anjelkovich, Sara Pedde and I decided to climb a bolted route we found on a face in Rocky Canyon. We got started about 0700, with Dave leading and myself on belay Once started, Dave kicked down a few small rocks from the crack, so I decided to don my helmet, which later proved a very valuable decision.

Dave was about 30 feet above me when he reached a crux. He decided to downclimb about five feet and try a different route. About five feet below the bolt, all hell broke loose. The rock that Dave was stretched across let go and fell down the chute toward me. He was able to swing off the boulder and avoid injury; unfortunately, I was right below him.

The rock came down on my left side, breaking four ribs and collapsing my left lung. It then threw me into the slab, breaking my pelvis. Dave came down safely and immediately slipped into “EMT mode.” He began patient care while Sara called Ada County Paramedics who quickly responded with several rigs and the Special Operations Team. Dennis Putnam was there to help set up the rescue system. It was certainly nice to see a familiar face. I was even lucid (or delirious) enough to ask how Cheryl was doing.

Once they got me down, it was a quick ride in the ambulance and then an even quicker ride in Life Flite. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to enjoy the view. (Source: Jarrod Ball, Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue Unit)

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