American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
Black Diamond Logo

Fall on Rock, Off Route, Inadequate Belay, Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Red Garden Wall

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2007


Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Red Garden Wall

On July 13 a climber (37) took a 100-foot fall on the Red Garden wall in Eldorado Springs before his partner managed to control the rope, stopping his partner’s descent about ten feet above a rock ledge. The climber suffered minor head injuries and cuts, Boulder County sheriff’s deputies said. He was taken to Boulder Community Hospital.

His climbing partner, Nick Saylor (19), said the man was an experienced climber who slipped after getting off route. Saylor, whose hands were bandaged by rescuers on scene, said he was climbing above his partner and it took him several seconds to stop the rope.

“The rope just went right through my hands,” Saylor said. “I guess you can see the bones.” Saylor was able to lower his friend to the ledge and yell for help until someone called 911. It took rescuers an hour and 10 minutes to get the climber safely to the ground. (Source: From various postings at the website


The most interesting aspect of this incident has to do with the belay. There are not enough details, but we are seeing more and more incidents having to do with belayers “losing control” of the rope. The lesson is to review the very basics of belay techniques. (Source: Jed Williamson)

This ANAM article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.