American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Descending Unroped, No Helmet, Colorado, Eldorado State Park

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1999

FALL ON ROCK, DESCENDING UNROPED, NO HELMET

Colorado, Eldorado State Park

On March 25, a thirty-two year old female experienced climber and her partner had just completed the first pitch of Blind Faith (5.10) on the west side of the Bastille. Rather than continuing up the route or rigging a rappel, they decided to unrope and down-climb a somewhat loose, broken cleft in the cliff. During the down-climb the victim fell, falling about 50 feet to the ground. She was not tied into a rope and had no helmet on at the time. She suffered multiple lacerations to her forehead, right hand, and right ankle as well as a loss of sensation below her waist. She was later diagnosed to have fractured her spine and damaged her spinal cord. (Source: Steve Muelhauser, Park Manager, and Conrad Bieniulis, Seasonal Park Ranger)

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