Home > News

Rock Climber Rescued Above a 5.8 Called Certain Death

The climber was new-routing high on The Waterfront crag when a big loose block rolled on top of them

An unknown climber was rescued Sunday after an accident above the popular Certain Death 5.8 in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. Officials said that a large rock “the size of a refrigerator” rolled on top of him.

Rescue crews responded around 4 p.m. to a call of an injured climber at The Waterfront crag at Gate Buttress, which is part of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest located about 30 kilometres from Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue said in a statement.

The injured climber and their partner were working on a new route when the accident occurred, the statement said. “One climber had pulled off a large rock the size of a refrigerator that rolled over the top of him,” the department said.

Two ground teams were sent to reach the climbers, but officials said the difficult terrain and nature of the climber’s injuries instead required a helicopter to airlift him off the mountain. The rescue operation lasted about 90 minutes.

Officials did not elaborate on the climber’s injuries or provide an update on his condition. Certain Death was first climbed in 1972 by Eric Eliason, Cado Avenali and Pete Lev, and was at the time difficult to protect because of the wide cracks.