American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Fall on Rock, Rope Severed, Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Red Garden Wall

  • Accident Reports
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  • Publication Year: 2011


Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Red Garden Wall

Joe Miller (38) fell to his death on the morning of June 22 while climbing the Yellow Spur route (5.9) on the Redgarden Wall. A later investigation revealed that a micro-Camalot below the dihedral held. It appears that the length of sling on that cam caused the rope to run over a particularly sharp edge, severing the fairly new 60-meter, 9.8-mm rope resulting in a fall of seventy feet to the ground for Miller.


An investigation by the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group found no problem with the rope, but did look into the angles of the rope, etc. See their full analysis at Lead climbers are encouraged to inspect the immediate area before placing gear. Check for sharp edges, loose rock, expanding flakes, etc., and react accordingly. (Source: Jed Williamson and Steve Muehlhauser, Park Ranger, Eldorado Canyon State Park)

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