Eldorado Canyon Climbers Rescued

Two Climbers Rescued from Eldorado Canyon State Park’s Redgarden Wall

BOULDER COUNTY, COLORADO – In a daring nighttime rescue operation, two young climbers were safely extracted from the top pitch of the T-2 climb on Tower Two of the Redgarden Wall within Eldorado Canyon State Park, Boulder County, Colorado. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office coordinated a complex rescue that concluded in the early hours of Sunday, March 10, 2024, highlighting the inherent risks of climbing and the importance of preparedness.

The incident unfolded on Saturday, March 9, when Boulder County Communications received an emergency call at 7:59 pm, alerting them to the climbers’ predicament. The two Boulder locals, aged 22 and 20, had embarked on their ascent at 2:00 pm but found themselves moving slower than anticipated. Darkness encroached as they reached the final pitch, leaving them stranded without headlamps and deeming it unsafe to rappel down in the fading light.

A swift response from local rescue agencies ensued. Utilizing spotlights, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and Rocky Mountain Rescue Group managed to locate the climbers. A rescue team made the ascent via the East Slabs to Tower Two, where they rappelled to the climbers’ location. The rescue operation involved guiding the climbers to the top of the formation and then assisting them down the East Slabs through a series of rappels, ensuring their safe return to the trailhead by 6:45 am the following day.

Thankfully, neither of the climbers required medical attention after their overnight ordeal, which spanned approximately 11 hours from the initial alert to the operation’s conclusion. The rescue effort saw collaboration from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, and Mountainview Fire Protection District.

Safety Tips for Climbers

This incident serves as a vital reminder of the unpredictable nature of climbing and the necessity of proper planning and equipment. Climbers, both novice and experienced, should consider the following safety tips to avoid similar predicaments:

  1. Plan Your Climb: Assess the route’s difficulty and your capabilities. Start early to allow plenty of daylight for your ascent and descent.
  2. Check the Weather: Conditions can change rapidly, especially in mountainous terrain. Always check the weather forecast before heading out.
  3. Pack Essential Gear: Always bring headlamps, extra batteries, and the Ten Essentials. Be prepared for unexpected overnight stays.
  4. Communicate Your Plan: Let someone know your climbing plan, including the route and expected return time.
  5. Learn Rescue Techniques: Familiarize yourself with basic self-rescue techniques and carry the necessary equipment to execute them.
  6. Consider a Guide: If you’re inexperienced or attempting a new, challenging route, consider hiring a guide or climbing with someone knowledgeable.

Climbing offers unparalleled experiences and views but demands respect for the environment and an understanding of the inherent risks. By preparing adequately and making informed decisions, climbers can ensure their adventures end safely, with stories of success rather than rescue.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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