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Fall on Rock, Failure to Follow Route, Colorado, Clear Creek Canyon

FALL ON ROCK, FAILURE TO FOLLOW ROUTE

Colorado, Clear Creek Canyon

Andy (28) and his partner Tamie (28) were climbing at Canal Zone during the evening of June 21. Andy had clipped the last bolt on Holiday Road (5.8) and was climbing to anchors on a slabby headwall with minimal holds. He was to the left of the bolt line when he slipped then fell. He most likely took a pendulum fall to the right, hitting his left ankle on a ledge below the final headwall. The left ankle was broken laterally towards the outside, suggesting that Andy was moving to the right when he hit the ledge. The ledge slopes upwards towards climber’s left so it might have been closer to him than if he was more in line with the bolts.

Credit goes to Tamie, a petite woman (less than 100 pounds) who was anchored to a tree at the base of the climb and able to arrest Andy’s fall. It doesn’t appear she was lifted off the ground due to the fall, nor was she pulled tight on her anchor.

Analysis

Andy might have been better off staying closer to the bolt line than moving left in an attempt to find easier holds. A tighter belay might also have minimized the fall. But rope stretch and the climber being off-route may have contributed to the distance of the fall. (Source: Alan Robertson)