Even the most experienced adventurers can find themselves in a dangerous situation, and this was the case for a pair of Colorado climbers that became stuck while scaling the rock faces of Eldorado State Park. Luckily for them, the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group was ready to help the climbers off of the 500-foot rock face.
The incident occurred on Friday, November 25. Out for some post-Thanksgiving trad climbing, the pair began their pitch at the base of the Yellow Spur route, rated at a 5.9 to 5.10, moderately difficult for most experienced climbers. The route required six pitches and the use of traditional gear, including cams and wire nuts. This is different from typical lead climbing, which usually has climbers using already-set bolts to clip their ropes.
According to Mountain Project, an online resource for climbing routes, the Yellow Spur is one of the most popular in Eldorado State Park.
In the case of the latest rescue, the two climbers found themselves unable to ascend the final 100 feet to the summit. So, they correctly called the authorities for help. Rocky Mountain Rescue Group arrived at the site at around 7:45 p.m. The group didn’t share many details about the actual operation. However, Angela Tomczik, a public information officer for the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, did confirm that the climbers made it to safety on Saturday morning.
Rocky Mountain Rescue Group Stresses Importance of Preparation for Climbers
Rocky Mountain Rescue Group is an all-volunteer organization that undergoes intense training to come to the aid of hikers and climbers in all weather on mountainous terrain. While the goal is to make sure adventurers have the proper knowledge and equipment before their trek, the group stressed the importance of reaching out for help as soon as it becomes necessary.
“We’re there for you if you need us,” said Drew Hildner, another public information officer for the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, in a past interview. “Don’t hesitate to call (911) for fear of any charge. We don’t charge for rescue.”
“It doesn’t matter whether they’re lost or injured – we have to find them first,” Tomczik agreed. “(Preparation ahead of time) helps expedite the process so that we can get to you faster.”
Still, even with the right gear and previous experience on the site, accidents happen. Rick Hatfield, a ranger operations supervisor with the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Department, urged folks that calling for help shouldn’t be embarrassing.
“Even the most well-planned outing can have a mistake or accident,” said Hatfield. “People shouldn’t be hesitant to call 911 for an actual emergency. A lot of times people are worried about the cost, or they feel some natural embarrassment, or a sense of, ‘I failed on this hike.'”