American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Stuck Rappel Rope, Fall on Rock, Inadequate Equipment — Boots, Colorado, Boulder Canyon, Bihedral Wall

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2011

STUCK RAPPEL ROPE, FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT - BOOTS Colorado, Boulder Canyon, Bihedral Wall

Beth M. Davis (52) fell while trying to retrieve a stuck rappel rope after climbing in Boulder Canyon on October 31. Davis and her partner were rappelling on the Upper Bihedral Wall. Once on the ground, they began to pull the rope. The rope became stuck on a spot roughly halfway up the rappel route. Davis scrambled up the rock to free it, and in the process fell approximately 20 feet. She suffered a broken arm and possibly a broken shoulder and internal injuries from the fall. Rocky Mountain Rescue Group was able to stabilize and evacuate her. She was transported by helicopter to St. Anthony’s Central in Denver.

Analysis

Ms. Davis comments on her accident: “The main thing I want to say is that wearing my helmet was the smartest thing I did that day. I have no spinal or head injuries. In retrospect, I made several mistakes. I knew my shoes were very inappropriate for hiking much less free climbing. I did not adequately assess the situation nor did I consider any other options. I fell because my foot slipped. Don’t put saving time or inconvenience ahead of being safe. Another method or assistance from others should have been considered”. (Source: From numerous posts on Mountainproject.com)

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