American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Stranded, Darkness, Poor Planning, Colorado, Boulder Canyon, Castle Rock

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2012


Colorado, Boulder Canyon, Castle Rock

On October 24, Gary Hansen (54) and his daughter Kate (17) became stranded on Castle Rock on a ledge 200 feet up the East Face after dark as they attempted to rappel. A rescue climber from the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group climbed over Castle Rock and descended to the stranded climbers. Each of them was then lowered to the ground, and they were both safely on the ground at 10:30 p.m.


While these were experienced climbers, the situation they found themselves in was largely attributable to a lack of familiarity with the area, and not allowing enough time for their climb to the summit. Once on the summit after dark, they chose a descent route for which they were not properly equipped. However, they then made the right decision to call for help rather than attempt to climb further in the dark in an unfamiliar area. (Source: Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

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