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Climber Hurt in Eldo
Submitted By: Michael Komarnitsky on Oct 14, 2002

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Climber Injured on Darkness 'Til Dawn

Fort Collins climber injured in fall

A 34-year-old male rock climber from Fort Collins was airlifted to St. Anthony's Central Hospital in Denver after falling 40 feet in Eldorado Canyon State Park. According to witnesses, the victim's climbing partner lost control while lowering the climber to the ground. The climber suffered head injuries and was unconscious at the scene. Members of Rocky Mountain Rescue and the Eldorado Springs Fire Department carried the victim about one-quarter mile to an ambulance. He was then driven to the Flight for Life helicopter, which was waiting at the Eldorado Springs Fire station. The victim was flown to St. Anthony's, where he underwent tests to determine the extent of his injuries.

From the Discussion List
I was in Eldo, watched the rescue; the guy looked in bad shape. The rescue guys were doing an impressive job of getting the him down the talus, lowering/carrying the stretcher tree to tree. According to some other climbers nearby, the accident involved someone being lowered off of Darkness 'til Dawn. Of course, a sixty-meter rope (who knows, maybe they had even a shorter rope?) will not be long enough for lowering off the two bolts, as they are about 120 feet up. Their rope went through the belay plate and the climber got pretty badly hurt. Horrible injuries are easy to imagine, as one is usually leaning backwards while being lowered, and the fall zone is bouldery and flattish. He had no helmet. As far as I know, there has never been an accident on Darkness 'til Dawn before. Myself, for Darkness, I usually take two ropes (which works well for protecting the traverse moves into the corner low down). The one-rope descent is to rappel/lower carefully to very close to the end of the rope, then scramble down 25 feet or so on steep third-class rock.

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