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Rock Climbing Rescues in Boulder County, Colorado and Eldorado Canyon State Park, Colorado, 1998 - 2011

Practice vertical 
			evacuation, Eldorado Canyon State Park

Practice vertical evacuation from the Redgarden Wall,
Eldorado Canyon State Park

28 March-2013: 1 hour video presentation based on the published paper.

2 July-2012: Eldorado Canyon State Park (ECSP) is one of North Americas top climbing destinations. In an effort to share the lessons learned from the climbing accidents within ECSP, we have extracted statistics on climbing rescues. The paper "Rock Climbing Rescues in Boulder County, Colorado and Eldorado Canyon State Park, Colorado, 1998 - 2011" (PDF, 10 pages, 600 KB) is a companion paper to one published by the Wilderness and Environmental Medicine Journal, and provides a more visual account of the statistics of interest for Boulder County and ECSP.

Take away points for ECSP climbers:

  • Belay accidents, such as losing control of the belay, lowering and rappelling off the end of the rope comprise 20% of all climbing accidents and are similar rates between Boulder County and ECSP.
  • ECSP has a higher instance of lost climbers, who request assistance in the later hours of the day (8pm - 1am), than other areas of Boulder County. Lack of knowledge of rappel anchors or downclimbs, and lack of preparation for nightfall are common reasons for this.
  • ECSP has a higher instance of climbers stuck on rappel, often due to ropes being caught in the structured terrain.
  • ECSP has a higher instance of lead climbing accidents and a much lower incidence of un-roped climbing accidents that the rest of Boulder County.
  • Climbing fatalities in ECSP result primarily from lead falls, lowering off ropes and rock fall. No fatalities from un-roped climbing were recorded during the study period.
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Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Inc.
3720 Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301, USA


Copyright 2014, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Inc.