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Bad Couple of Days on Longs Peak


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Jim Amidon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 880
Matt Zia · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 142

I went up to climb the Diamond yesterday and we made the decision to bail off Broadway after getting stuck fifth in line behind a really really slow party. I dunno if you want to believe in a sixth sense or anything, but it was about 8am in the North Chimney when my partner and I said to each other, "I've got kinda a weird feeling about today." We were talking with one of the Colorado Mountain School guides who was also bailing and he said the North Chimney was the loosest he's seen it in years, if not ever.

Definitely a bad couple of days.

LawHous · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 225

Damn no kidding! Sad few days for RMNP climbing. I wonder what route he was climbing?

Erik Werner · · Boulder, CO · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 305

I was reading about this real-time on Friday when Jim and Matt initially posted, and this morning found out it was my pal in the accident. I'm not going to write much on his condition at the moment, but just wanted to share that it happened in the North Chimney. It is suspected that rockfall hit him while he and his partner were simul-ing up to Broadway. He fell 50-60 ft (confirming the news blurb linked above).

Big thanks to all those involved in the rescue and evac.

Mitch Musci · · Estes Park, CO · Joined Apr 2002 · Points: 1,070

This is very scary, especially considering a lot of climbers (with good reason) choose not to rope up in the north chimney. Yes, your rope could knock rocks loose in that chimney...but what if rock falls on the leader from above? Best wishes to all involved.

Tyrel Fuller · · Denver, CO · Joined May 2010 · Points: 130

I just want to post a quick shout out to Tommy Caldwell and Jonathan Siegrist and say thanks for helping my friends out on Friday. No doubt they were instrumental in saving his life.

Rayna · · Arvada, CO · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 90

Mitch, in this case we suspect that it was a rock that hit Christian and he was the leader. The climber in this story is my fiance. He doesn't remember the fall at all and is lucky to be alive. He suffered a fractured C2, crushed T6 & T7, a skull fracture, a punctured lung, a scapular fracture, 7 broken ribs and deep lacerations. His spine was fused last night from T3-T9. He does not have any notable brain trauma or spinal nerve damage. He is a solid Climber so this is very unexpected.

bearbreeder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 3,065

rockfall is something you cant really control ... only mitigate ... sadly enough

best wishes

Storogoth · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 5

Rayna, hope that Christian's healing process goes fast & smooth.

Tony T. · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 45
Tyrel Fuller wrote:I just want to post a quick shout out to Tommy Caldwell and Jonathan Siegrist and say thanks for helping my friends out on Friday. No doubt they were instrumental in saving his life.
Related, I'm posting a quick "WTF?" to the apparently 2-4 parties who came upon the scene of our friend and his partner, who was pretty severely injured, and kept climbing. This is including one supposed nurse who said he looked OK and kept going.

Luckily those people weren't the only others up there. It's pretty inspiring to know that the other parties who did stop, and even Caldwell and Siegrist who had a full film crew, managed to step away from themselves and help out a stranger.

Take care of each other out there. You never know when you might need the favor returned. <3
Tom-onator · · trollfreesociety · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 790

Humanitarian awards to Tommy and Jonathan.

Respect.

Limp Penis award to the parties that went about their climbing day.
After all the planning and hiking it takes to even get into the Diamond, who wouldn't stop to help an injured climber?

Is the "send" more important than helping those in need?

Spot on, Tony T.

Dr. VARMENT · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined May 2010 · Points: 95

The Crack of Delight (5.7) lies just climbers left of the north chimney and while often very wet (so is the north chimney) and is easily protected. I've always felt uncomfortable in the north chimney, that thing's a choss pile

Charles Vernon · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 2,603
Tony T. wrote: Related, I'm posting a quick "WTF?" to the apparently 2-4 parties who came upon the scene of our friend and his partner, who was pretty severely injured, and kept climbing. This is including one supposed nurse who said he looked OK and kept going. <3
Are you kidding me? Is this really true? I find this really hard to imagine unless there was some misunderstanding about whether assistance was needed. Did they bow out because your friend was already receiving assistance and additional parties would just make it a clusterfuck?

If it's as you say, makes me real sad.
Tank Evans · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 125

This is the Diamond, not Everest. I will give the benefit of the doubt to the parties that continued, assuming that the man was already being helped and no more assistance was needed. To many people results in a more dangerous situation. If the comments regarding the other 2 parties leaving the man are true then they need to be outed in the community. There is no excuse for that, they are terrible human beings, and deserve to be acknowledged and treated as such.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

I too really don't want to condemn anyone from not joining in the rescue. If someone had contacted SAR and/or was going for help and someone with medical knowledge was attending the patient, there is little else to do for other bystanders.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,195

Rayna and Christian -

Heal well and quickly. I'm glad to hear that there is no apparent head trauma - that's the tough one. If it helps to know, I broke several lumbar vertebrae almost 30 years ago, and even with the comparatively simple technology available then the surgery to repair and fuse the spine was successful, though healing took a while. I was climbing again a year later, and I live a pretty normal life now.

As for the situation,
I've never seen an accident where the person was not walking away that I went on from and climbed instead of putting myself on standby.

#1) You never know when help is needed and if you will be the right person to do the job (IE litter team is 1x person short of a carry - or injured party's stuff needs carried out, etc...

#2) I'd be too creeped-out the rest of the day (week) to have a good time climbing anyway.

I'm not in a place to judge what happened up there, but I'd offer that as a suggestion for this sort of a predicament in the future to those weighing options.

That said, I do know a few people that have been made unwelcome at a rescue scene, self included. When Sylvia W. was taken out from the Chasm View Wall with a broken pelvis, her partner got punched in the face by a rescuer who thought he was in the way. A Rescue crew chased Gary S. away from an upside-down-hanging (at the time live, but bleeding profusely from the head) body on Calypso in Eldo 16 years or so ago. This case was heard in public meetings. And I was once shooo-ed from a scene myself, when I offered to stand-by for help. I've also been welcomed and asked to help in a few events. It seems that anything can happen, but it sure would be nice if people offered to help while not interfering.

NC Rock Climber · · The Oven, AKA Phoenix · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 60
Tony T. wrote: Related, I'm posting a quick "WTF?" to the apparently 2-4 parties who came upon the scene of our friend and his partner, who was pretty severely injured, and kept climbing. This is including one supposed nurse who said he looked OK and kept going. Luckily those people weren't the only others up there. It's pretty inspiring to know that the other parties who did stop, and even Caldwell and Siegrist who had a full film crew, managed to step away from themselves and help out a stranger. Take care of each other out there. You never know when you might need the favor returned. <3
Seriously?! Maybe I don't understand the situation, but it is really hard for me to fathom the lack of empathy necessary for someone to meet a seriously injured person in the outback and just continue on without rendering assistance. That is some seriously cold and disgusting behavior.
highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

There is more to this story. I guarantee it.

Put down the pitchforks.

Monty · · Golden, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 3,148

I've always been terrified of loose rock pouring down the North Chimney. The last time I was up there this summer we hurried to pass a few parties who were simul-ing only to have rocks knocked down from a party traversing broadway after the Chasm View rappels.

This is a HUGE reminder that no matter what way you go, you have to be incredibly mindful of loose rocks and your fellow climbers.

My heart goes out to those affected by this accident.

Patrick Vernon · · Estes Park, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 960

Did the rescue take place inside the north chimney itself? Too many people might have been a safety issue. It would be weird for people to just walk past and not offer assistance though.

Dustin Drake · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 5

There are plenty of good and rational reasons not to stop and help.

As someone else already said, put down the pitchforks.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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