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Fall on Rock, Protection Came Out, Colorado, Boulder Canyon, Cobb Rock

FALL ON ROCK, PROTECTION CAME OUT

Colorado, Boulder Canyon, Cobb Rock

A 20-year-old Air Force Academy cadet fell about 65 feet while still attached to his line during a climb at Cobb Rock in Boulder Canyon on August 17. The initial report from a witness who called 911 about 3:20 p.m. was that the man, Martin K. Emerson (20), had fallen 65 feet and landed on his back. Rescuers found, though, that while climbing with fellow cadets, his grapples (sic) began coming loose in a “zipper fashion,” and he was able to stay attached to his line and land feet first, the Sheriff’s Office said. He then fell onto his back on a rocky ledge at the base of Cobb Rock. He was conscious but complaining of back pain after the impact, officials said. Members of the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group and Pridemark Paramedics traversed Boulder Creek and climbed to where Emerson was. He was given pain medication, carried across the creek and taken by ambulance to Boulder Community Hospital, where Sheriff’s Office officials said he was in good condition. (From the Boulder Daily Camera – Local Digest, August 18, 2003)

(Editor's Note: We’ll assume that “grapples” means protection. Surviving a 65-foot fall and ending up in good condition suggests a run of good luck.)