May 12, 2017
Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500
Fallen Climber Rescued at Eldorado Canyon State Park
27-year-old male fell 50-60 feet while climbing Bastille route
Boulder County, Colo. - On Friday, 12 May 2017 at approximately 2:40pm, the Boulder County Communications Center received a 911 call regarding a rock climber who had fallen approximately 50-60 feet while climbing in Eldorado Canyon State Park. The climber, a 27-year-old male student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, was climbing the popular Bastille Crack with a female friend. They started climbing at around 2:00pm and had made it through the first pitch of the climb without incident. The male was then lead climbing up the second pitch when he fell. During the fall, one of his anchors came out of the rock face, causing him to fall even farther. His climbing partner was eventually able to belay him to a stop.
Another experienced climber was on a nearby route when she witnessed what happened. She was able to make her way over to the pair and helped lower the patient onto a rock ledge. She also helped make sure the climbing partner was safely anchored in. This good samaritan called 911 and remained with the patient until rescue personnel arrived with him.
Volunteer rescuers with Rocky Mountain Rescue Group were able to use two, 600-foot ropes to climb down to the patient and were in direct contact with him by 4:30pm. They then loaded him into a litter and safely rappelled down to the base of the cliff with him. He was then transported via ground ambulance at approximately 5:32pm to Boulder Community Hospital for treatment. At the onset of the incident, fire personnel had called for an air ambulance from Northern Colorado MedEvac to be on ground standby at a nearby fire station, but it was ultimately cancelled.
The male and his climbing partner were both described as experienced climbers and were outfitted with proper gear, including helmets. It was later discovered that at some point during the incident, the male’s helmet had broken. The male suffered from a possible skull fracture, significant lacerations, and a probable broken arm and ribs.
Rescue personnel from the following organizations assisted in the rescue effort: Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services personnel, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Rocky Mountain Fire, Colorado State Parks and Wildlife Rangers, and Northern Colorado MedEvac.
Due to the extent of the male’s injuries, his name is not being released at this time pending notification of family members. The case number for this incident is 17-2755.
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/s/ Sergeant Clay Leak