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Rock Climber Free-Soloing Survives Fall

The climber luckily stopped on a ledge, but suffered serious injuries and required a technical rescue

In the evening on July 10, a rock climber fell around 30 metres while free-soloing the Direct East Face on the First Flatiron. The 22-year-old Boulder climber was near the top of the climb when they fell down low-angle rock and landed on a ledge below.

They sustained serious injuries and couldn’t move. Their climbing partner continued to the top and called for help. Another pair of climbers nearby accessed the injured climber and provided first aid until more help arrived. Rescuers and paramedics from the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group rappelled in to provide additional care.

The injured climber was lowered to the base of the route in a full body vacuum splint and litter. He was then evacuated to the trailhead and hospital. Several agencies worked together in this rescue, including the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, American Medical Response, and Rocky Mountain Rescue Group.

There have been several free-solo accidents on this route over the years. We wrote about climbers looking sketched out on it last year while climbing in sneakers – read the story here.