American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Climbing Alone and Unroped, No Hard Hat, Exceeding Abilities, Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Redgarden Wall

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2005

FALL ON ROCK, CLIMBING ALONE AND UNROPED, NO HARD HAT, EXCEEDING ABILITIES

Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Redgarden Wall

On May 23, a male (22) was free-soloing the route Smoke and Mirrors, rated 5.10a, high on Redgarden Wall in Eldorado Canyon when several climbers witnessed his fall. He hit a ledge 40 feet down then fell another 60 feet before being wedged behind a flake on a small ledge several hundred feet above the ground. Another climber, who happened to be a paramedic, made his way to the victim quickly and called 911. The victim was marginally conscious with a head injury and had no feeling or movement below his waist. RMRG units arrived with medical kits and stabilized him with intravenous fluids, pain medication, and splinting. He was packaged and placed in a litter mid-wall. He required a 500-foot vertical evacuation to a gully, where a 800-foot scree evacuation to the valley floor was performed. He was then evacuated across South Boulder Creek via a Tyrolean traverse to a ground ambulance. The ambulance transported him down the canyon to an awaiting air ambulance, which flew him to the ER. Analysis

If the fall had not been witnessed, the climber would have been virtually invisible. It is unknown whether his plans had been shared with anyone else. He was exceedingly lucky to survive this accident in remote, highly technical terrain. (Source: From a report by the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group)

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