rescue on May 13th on north side of Bastille


Original Post
Andres Fernandez · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 25
Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 511

According to another climber that witnessed the accident from the other side of the canyon, the leader was climbing above Werks Up, in the vicinity of the 3rd pitch of March of Dimes, but not necessarily on that route.  He took a very long fall and tumble.  It was unclear whether he was very runout, gear ripped or other reasons for the long fall.  I have witnessed something similar in Eldo a few years ago.  

Thankfully, the leader is expected to recover despite very serious injuries.  

Much thanks to Rocky Mountain Rescue.  We are lucky to have them nearby.  

psycoticpilgrim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 0

I was across from the climber when he fell (grey helmet in the second photo). 

As Greg said above, climber probably started on Werks Up but traversed over towards Bastille Crack via the ramp on P2/3. He began to set up a belay about 5-10 feet climbers left of the ordinary belay on top of P4 of the Bastille when he slipped and fell. He left a nicely placed red camalot in the crack--unclipped obviously--when he fell. I saw him fall 10-20 feet to a ledge, hit, and then tumble out of sight. 

My climbing partner was working her way up to the ramp at the time of the fall, and was able to traverse over to the injured climber and remain with him until rescue arrived. 

It's unclear exactly why he fell so far. He had placed a .4 camalot about 10-15 feet below where he fell. The cam held, and the rope was still clipped to the biner. However, to my understanding, he fell anywhere in the range of 50-80 feet, and probably on the higher end of that range. I'm not sure if there was too much slack in the system or the long fall was due to another factor, but it seems that we can rule out poor/no placement as the cause. 

I'm glad to hear the leader is expected to recover as we hadn't heard anything since the day of the accident. Serious thanks to the Rocky Mountain Rescue team. They arrived quickly and were extremely professional. 

Steve Sangdahl · · eldo sprngs,co · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 705

The story I heard was that he was hit by a rock which in turn forced him into a lead fall. He hit his head pretty good as his helmet was practically split in two. Not sure what caused the rock to come off. We had well over 3 1/2 inches of rain here in Eldo before this accident so there is going to be some new loose stuff. Thanks to Rocky Mountain Rescue for their efforts. Let's be careful out there. 

sherb · · Loveland, Ohio & Wheat Ridg... · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 0

That is a long fall, yikes. Glad he's gonna be alright, and what a helmet to save his head. Sometimes reading all the mud-slinging on the internet you lose faith in humanity, then you see the Rocky Mountain rescuers being heroes. I feel inspired and wish I was strong enough to join their ranks. Also one of them has really nice legs. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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