Contact Us

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3720 Walnut St
Boulder, CO, 80301
United States

303-449-4141

Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Inc. (RMRG) is an all-volunteer organization trained and equipped for search and rescue on mountainous terrain in all weather conditions. Founded in 1947, we are Boulder County's primary mountain rescue agency, but upon request also assist other mountain rescue teams outside the county. We also provide outdoor recreation safety education and disaster response services. RMRG is a non-profit IRS 501(c)3 organization and we do not charge for our services.

RMRG-litter-belay.jpg

Copy of Outdoor Safety

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

WARNING: Contains Graphic Images from minutes 38-44. 
One of the benefits of being part of a search and rescue team, particularly one so close to a lot of climbing activity, it that you get to learn from the lessons of others mistakes. Rocky Mountain Rescue members Dan Lack and Alison Sheets will share some of these important lessons from the last 15 years of climbing accidents in Boulder County. This discussion, based on a paper published in 2012), will outline the simplest climbing accident prevention measures and dispel some of the myths on what causes climbing accidents. The discussion will also provide some valuable insights on making an assessment, if an accident occurs, of whether you should call for organized rescue, and if you do, what you can do to tip the scales to a better outcome. Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 8pm- With Daniel Lack

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 InvestigationDetailed 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. 
 

14-Years of rescue data reveals 20% of all accidents could have been prevented by better belay practices such as tying a knot in the end of the rope or wearing belay gloves. Anchors rarely fail (2.5% of accidents) and when they do, it’s because of inexperienced setup.

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. 


Climbing

Anchor Failure

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.