American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Placed No Protection, Exceeding Abilities

Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Grandmother's Challenge

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 2009

On October 8, Kevin (51), an experienced climber, and his wife started the first pitch of Grandmother’s Challenge (5.10c), a two-pitch climb on Redgarden Wall. The first pitch is rated 5.8. Kevin was approximately 30 feet above the ground with no protection in place and slipped, landing feet first on a large ledge then losing balance and falling feet first again onto the ground. At least one ankle was fractured and the other severely sprained if not also fractured. Kevin also complained of lower back pain when rescue arrived. (Source: From an accident report completed by Chris Darr.) (Editor's Note: According to statistics kept by the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, there were 20 reports of injured rock climbers within the group's response area last year. From 2002 to 2006, the group averaged 21 calls a year for injured climbers, with an average of nine responses a year in Eldorado Canyon State Park.)

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