Colorado Climber Survives Nearly 100-Foot Fall From Mountain

by Craig Garrett
Second Flatiron trail Boulder Colorado - stock photo

On Tuesday afternoon, a Colorado climber fell around 80-100 feet from the Second Flatiron in Boulder County but thankfully survived. On Tuesday afternoon, the Boulder County Communications Center got a call concerning a 48-year-old climber who had been ascending the Second Flatiron when he plummeted and was severely injured, according to the Boulder County Sheriff’s office. The Denver Post reports that he wasn’t utilizing a rope.

The man fell from a height of 80 to 100 feet, hitting several rocks on the way down. He sustained injuries “across his entire body” when he landed on a ledge, according to the sheriff’s office. Two other nearby climbers rushed to help him, called 911, and guided emergency personnel to the scene.

Although the injured climber could not move, he was still able to answer questions, as stated by the sheriff’s office. Rescuers with the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group and rangers from the City of Boulder Open Space Mountain Parks assisted him on the ledge before putting him into a full-body vacuum splint and loading him into a litter. The rescue personnel then lowered him down about 200 feet before evacuating him via wheeled litter to an ambulance that was waiting nearby.

A few different groups were involved in the rescue effort. Those include the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Boulder Fire-Rescue, City of Boulder Open Space Mountain Parks, American Medical Response, and Rocky Mountain Rescue Group.

More on the rock formation the Colorado climber was injured on

The Flatirons are a series of flat rock formations located in the western United States, near Boulder, Colorado. There are five large numbered Flatirons ranging from north to south (First through Fifth) along the east slope of Green Mountain. The term “The Flatirons” sometimes refers to these five alone. Additionally, there are numerous named Flatirons on the southern part of Green Mountain, Bear Peak, and among the surrounding foothills.

The Flatirons, located on Green Mountain, are part of the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks system. They are popular tourist destinations for people looking to hike and rock climb. This is because there is a diverse range of trails available, with routes including easy (5.0) to world-class (5.14b). The East Face Standard route on the Third Flatiron in particular is well-known. Richard Rossiter, an experienced climber and guidebook author calls it “The best 5.4 in the solar system.”

According to historians, the Flatirons were originally called the “Chautauqua Slabs” circa 1900. They were later referred to as “The Crags” in 1906. The current name is thought to have derived from one of two hypotheses: either because it looks similar to old-fashioned clothes irons or because it bares a striking resemblance to the Flatiron Building completed in 1902.