American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Stranded, Inexperience, Inadequate Equipment, Fear, Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Wind Tower

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996


Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Wind Tower

On September 10, two young men (20, 21) and a young woman (22) climbed up about 250 feet on the East Face of Wind Tower and became stranded when they could no longer continue up (small roof outcrop), and were unable to negotiate climbing down. The evacuation/rescue took about three and a half hours. Although they sustained no injuries, this was our most involved incident in the park last year. (Source: Tim Metzger, Park Manager, Eldorado Canyon State Park)

(Editors Note: This is a very typical incident for Eldorado Canyon. The road side attractions are everywhere and accessible. One can see a range of activity. For example, during this same period, I saw a man who weighed about 200 pounds take five leader falls from the same place, 80 feet up from the road, where the climb began. His belayer, a 120 pound woman—unanchored—got slammed into the wall each time. I asked another woman who was watching what she thought. “I used to belay for him, but then I broke my arm,...”)

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