It's easy to get into trouble outdoors. From seeing the results of accidents, we offer some advice:
Four Questions to Ask Yourself when you are outdoors:
- Do I have the appropriate skills and experience?
- Am I eating and drinking enough?
- Do I have the right clothing and equipment?
- Should I change my plans in view of the time, the weather, or my pace?
Outdoor Safety Education is significant part of our mission. We have a variety of safety information available online. RMRG also delivers free safety education to Boulder area groups on an as requested basis, typically 20 to 30 per year. Contact Adam Fedor, Safety Education Committee chair person, at Contact@RockyMountainRescue.org for more information on RMRG's safety education programs or to request a presentation.
Accident Reports & Analysis
Rock Climbing Rescues: Causes, Injuries, and Trends in Boulder County, Colorado Tells the by-the-numbers story of Boulder County climbing rescues from 1998-2011. Published: 2012 Wilderness Emergency Medicine Journal
Rock Climbing Rescues in Boulder County, Colorado and Eldorado Canyon State Park, Colorado, 1998 - 2011 A more visual presentation of the lessons learned in Eldorado Canyon State Park, one of North America's top climbing destinations.
Yellow Spur June 22, 2010 Fatal Rope Failure Investigation, Detailed analysis of rope failure.
Accident victim account of a fall on steep snow, and subsequent evacuation, Rocky Mountain National Park, January 29, 2011
Rescue of an injured climber off the Redguard Route, Eldorado Springs Canyon State Park: June 26, 2010:
Narrative description with photos of the rescue operation involving an unusually long cliff evacuation.
Rescue of injured climber, Eldorado Springs Canyon State Park: April 27, 2008:
Narrative description with photos of a complex rescue of an injured climber from a mid-cliff ledge.
Take away points for Eldorado Canyon State Park 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.
- 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 down-climbs, and lack of preparation for nightfall are common reasons for this. Know your route and bring a headlamp.
- 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 than the rest of Boulder County.
- Climbing fatalities in ECSP result primarily from lead falls, lowering off ropes and rock fall.
- The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC)
- National Snow and Ice Data Center
- American Avalanche Association
- USFS National Avalanche Center
Avalanche Awareness Training
- Alpine World Ascents
- Boulder Rock Club / Colorado Mountain School
- Boulder Outdoor Center
- Bryan Mtn Nordic Ski Patrol
- Eldora Mountain Resort
Online Avalanche Training
Avalanche First Response Training (FLASH)
Take a free online avalanche responder training course from Recco and the Canadian Avalanche Association.
Avalanche Transceiver Reference Sites
In 2000, a climbing anchor that included a taped-over splice of nylon webbing, along with an improperly clipped section, led to its failure and the death of a climber at Happy Hour Crag in Boulder Canyon. Download a presentation on the accident (17 pp, PDF, 500 KB).
Safety in the Colorado Mountains
Emergency personal beacons: A primer
"Safety in the Colorado Mountains" brochure is a great resource for mountain safety taken from our years of experience. (click on brochure to go to our download page)
"Mountains Don't Care" poster (11x17", 600 KB JPG only) provides some basic information on being safe in the mountains of Colorado in an attractive display.