Man dies after 1st Flatiron fall


Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265
Peter Beal wrote:

http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_31205267/teen-who-died-fall-from-boulders-flatirons-idd

I found this headline peculiar to say the least but here's more info about the victim along with the photo he took before he fell.

This is quite a nice profile of this boy. Sounds like a kid a lot of us would have enjoyed.

OLH

Peter Beal · · Boulder Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,740
John RB wrote:

I solo in Eldo because I heard it's a good way to meet girls...

I think a lot of people solo in Eldo (and elsewhere) until they actually meet girls. It passes the time nicely!   

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 290

Would somebody please paste the Daily Camera article?  Won't let me read without subscribing.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Jim Turner wrote:

Would somebody please paste the Daily Camera article?  Won't let me read without subscribing.

That would be copyright violation. I've never encountered a paywall at the Daily Camera. Only a pop up for current subscribers to "activate" for full subscriber benefits. 

cragmantoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 175

 terrible tragedy anytime someone so young dies in any type of accident

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,180
Marc801 C wrote:

That would be copyright violation. I've never encountered a paywall at the Daily Camera. Only a pop up for current subscribers to "activate" for full subscriber benefits. 

It lets you read a certain number of articles per month before requiring registration.
This might be circumvented by a non-static IP or something, if you are on a multi-network device or simply don't visit often.

Try viewing from a different device or station...

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 290
Marc801 C wrote:

That would be copyright violation. I've never encountered a paywall at the Daily Camera. Only a pop up for current subscribers to "activate" for full subscriber benefits. 

I won't tell if you don't tell.  But seriously, I took Tony's advice and read it from my other phone.

trice Rice · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 0
Jim Turner wrote:

Would somebody please paste the Daily Camera article?  Won't let me read without subscribing.

Open the article in 'incognito' mode

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
trice Rice wrote:

Open the article in 'incognito' mode

Ah. So they're probably using a cookie to track article views. 

S2k4life · · beaver creek, CO · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 50

So ironically enough I posted on this as soon as it happend as I was saddend and taken back, I'm not a huge dedicated solo er, so I posted why solo, why do it, I said I like climbing to much to put it in jeopardy, with that being said , I love scrambling , running out pro on easy climbs on lead, and yea I'll solo a little, responsibly? I've trad climbed for three years now and lead 9s on sport lead a 10a, climb 10s, I just did kamikaze overhangs on the 1st on gear friday, one of the harder routes if any of them are hard and my partner left so i did what any adrenaline junkie driven addicted climber would have done,   went for a solo on the 1st, 

Little did I know what route Carter had done or even whereabouts he had fell, 

So along my free solo journey,  3/4 of the way up I see something shiny sitting on edge of rock and I'm thinking bolts , on my way up to it I found a i phone barely cracked not thinking nothing of it,

I get to the (shiny thing ) and realize it's headphones , sweet I found headphones, I said wait I don't want these they are busted , then I said waaaaaaaaaait a sec, I know whose these are, Erie, sobering,

Then I look around and see his sunglasses laying right there on the ground to the right, not busted or anything with the croakie still attached, 

Wow, I take all his stuff with me bc right away I thought somebody wants this, then I thought I would just put it at the base of the climb with his memorial, where it may deserve to be, or with his dad,

But wait , so I climb up through a little 5.6? Roof , fun , and I'm thinking ok this is where he must have fallen, right? Wrong, 

I pull the roof, climb up 10 feet and theres his patagonia hat right next to a tree , wow just 100 feet from the top, past all the hard sections,  into a 5.0 easy grassy left facing dihdral, 

So I go to put his stuff at the base of the climb with the picture that's there and the cord and beaner and a big group of his close friends come up and start talking to me and were extremely appreciative I brought down his stuff, I just said hey I wasn't going to leave it up there, I wanted to do the right thing and put it where it belonged and I guessed I was just the 1st person with the balls to go up there where he did ( accidentally)

Or so I thought, so then the lady tells me 30 people have been up there looking for his stuff, why I found it idk, but I suppose it helped push me through my journey , 

So for those wondering,I found his stuff on the east face gulley route scattered on ledges about 100-150 feet from the top of the route

RIP Carter 

 

GTS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 0

Thanks for posting. Perhaps you want to contact the authorities that are investigating what happened. Your information could be quite valuable in determining what happened.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,180
cobrawrestlr5 wrote:

So along my free solo journey,  3/4 of the way up I see something shiny sitting on edge of rock and I'm thinking bolts , on my way up to it I found a i phone barely cracked not thinking nothing of it.

Interesting.  Thanks for sharing.
I had a similar experience once in Eldo.  It was published in R&I about 20 years ago.  I was soloing and happened across... remains... highly fragmented remains.  And blood, of course.
I tried to wash them away.  Long story on my motivation, but it was about respecting the dead, I guess, not leaving them laying around.

I went home shaken that afternoon.  That night a mutual friend called me to tell me about our loss.  It was a friend.  He was roped, but roped people land on ledges too, sometimes.

"No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. "

- John Dunne



Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265

Cobrawrestler, and Tony, thanks for sharing your story, and the longer version of the quote.

The first harness I climbed in (I'm wearing it in my original profile photo, "third time on rock) was borrowed from my son. When I knew I should buy one, I traded for a day and tried out his big gun, with him having the blue one.

That's when the SAR call came, a rock climbing accident on Elephants Perch. Sadly, it became a recovery mission.

There is respect given at all points in this process. My son's team spent the night, after getting ready and rigged to complete the mission the next day. 

Much, much later, when all was done, equipment back at the SAR barn ready to go, and my son was finally home, in a quiet moment he sorted through the trash bag holding his personal equipment he pulled off after completing the mission.

That blue harness, and a bit of gear, his all too intimate connection with this fallen climber, was retired with honor and respect. I expect he will never part with it.

That's the kind of person this fallen young man may well have become. I'm sorry he was here such a short time, and I will never have the pleasure of meeting him.

To those who knew him, his story will touch a great many people. His community is all of us.

Deepest condolences, Helen

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 265

Regarding young people and risk? 

This is perhaps the hardest part of parenting. I know full well what could happen to my son, who has chosen dangerous pursuits as a vocation and avocation, from a young age.

Yet, he is not a thrill seeker, reckless, or prone to stupidity. Based on the lovely profile his friends paint, neither was the young man who fell.

We cut them loose, our gift to the world, and hope for the best, that the phone call we dread never comes.

I trust my son with my life. I also trust him with his own.

OLH

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 866

Something doesn't quite add up.  If you know the formation or look at this photo:

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/1301163

The summit is in the upper left and the start of the most common solo route, #1,  is in the lower right.  His photo appears to be taken from near the summit looking to the north east.  The feature labeled "headwall-big ledge" is apparent his photo.   A fall from the summit would put you near the start of route 9.  It would be impossible to end up at the base near route 1.  But, someone I spoke to that was there that day said he was found on the stairs which are between the start of rout 1 and 0 in the lower right of this route guide.  In order to end up here, I would say one would have to fall somewhere near or to the the right of route 1.

S2k4life, where did you find his belongings in this topo?  Did the different locations of his belongings make sense to you?  It almost seems as if he was attempting to reverse the route in order to descend.  This is not the way most climbers descend.  Most climbers either bring a rope and do a single rap off the somewhat overhanging and exposed west side or do a quite improbable looking downclimb that goes down this same very steep rap route on big jugs for about 20 feet, then traverses around to the south side of the formation.  This may be 5.4 but very exposed and not obvious.  Down climbing the entire route would certainly be quite a bit harder than going up, even for experienced climbers.  This does not sound like a typical flatiron solo.  

None of this information can bring him back.  It is a very unfortunate accident.  But, knowing more info may help any investigation and may benefit others in the future.     

Abram Herman · · Golden, CO · Joined May 2009 · Points: 20

Greg, that's a very good point—in the picture he posted I'm pretty sure he was already past the point where he could have fallen straight back down to the stairs at the base of the route, so it does seem like he may have been trying to reverse the route. As you said, that would be difficult.

I can see how this would happen, too, because if you didn't know the downclimb and were looking at it from above, it does look quite a bit harder than it actually is (especially with the exposure). There's a good chance he balked at the downclimb because it appears hard and tried to reverse the route instead, which would be much harder than the downclimb, and much, much harder than it was going up. Such a tragic event. Poor kid. Poor family.

I hope this causes more people to take this stuff seriously. The flatirons are a fun easy solo outing, for sure, but you still need to be absolutely sure of what you're doing. The potential consequences are huge. I think a lot of people see the Instagram posts of people scrambling it in their approach shoes and think it's no big deal. And it isn't a big deal, until it is. If you're going to solo something, you'd better be damn sure you know the way up, and the way off.

The thing that really doesn't make sense, though, is that S2k4life says he found some of the guy's stuff really close to the top. Why would he have abandoned stuff as he downclimbed the route? As you said, something just doesn't add up here...

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Greg D wrote:

In order to end up here, I would say one would have to fall somewhere near or to the the right of route 1.

It's fairly low-angle, so the fall was more likely tumbling and bouncing - certainly not free-fall to the base. A lot of semi-random directional changes can result.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 866
Marc801 C wrote:

It's fairly low-angle, so the fall was more likely tumbling and bouncing - certainly not free-fall to the base. A lot of semi-random directional changes can result.

No.  Not this much. If you have ever been up there you would know this. There are too many features including large corners and gullies making it virtually impossible.  

ebethreegs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 0

From the above information and the Instagram photo where you can clearly see the "big ledge", it sounds like Carter fell trying to down climb the ridge line. The ridge line would seem like the "easiest" way to go down if you do not know the whereabouts of the standard down climb. After a brief glance on the First Flatiron page on MP, I don't see information regarding the descent so one would probably think it is going to be obvious (the anchors are obvious, it is NOT obvious that you have to down climb vertically from where the anchors are if you're soloing). Perhaps he traversed the ridge and fell trying to down climb the 5.6 roof that Cobrawrestler mentions. 

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Greg D wrote:

No.  Not this much. If you have ever been up there you would know this. There are too many features including large corners and gullies making it virtually impossible.  

I have been there, but I'll admit it was in the late 70's - I haven't climbed in Boulder since 1983, so relatively hazy memories. (Except for that freaky Rosy Crucifixion. I still have occasional nightmares of that one.)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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