American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Belay — Rope Pulls Through Belay Device, Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park

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


Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park

On December 14, a female climber (27) was lowered off the end of her rope after leading the first pitch of Over the Hill (5.10). Drew Wojcik was in the climbing party directly above her and recounts what he saw: “As we began the second pitch of Over the Hill we heard the fall. Initially it sounded like a scary leader fall, but soon found out that was not the case. I instantly lowered my leader who asked if help was needed. He observed the rope running through the new bolted anchors that have replaced using the tree. We estimate she fell around 20 feet to the ground. Initial assessment seemed to indicate a hip injury. The party involved seemed fairly new to the area, referencing our guidebook. The new anchors are probably around 70m.”


Moral of the story is tie-in or [have a] back-up. I think the Eldo fixed hardware committee should consider tagging some of the more traveled moderates that involve raps/lowers longer than can be done with a 50 or 60m. Seems like this is a recurring issue after speaking with the rescue team. (Source: From a post on

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