Rock climber injured in 40-foot fall at Rocky Mountain National Park

Guide, firefighting chopper crew help with rescue

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. - A 36-year-old rock climber was injured in a fall in Rocky Mountain Nation Park on Friday afternoon.

The climber, a Golden man, was 350 feet up a climbing route on Sundance Buttress when he fell 40 feet, said park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson. He suffered numerous injuries.

A guide for the Colorado Mountain School, who was with another person, saw the man fall and came to his aid, Patterson said. The climbing guide was able to lower the injured man 350 feet to the base of the climbing route, which is in the Lumpy Ridge area on the east side of the park.

Park rangers were assisted in this rescue by the climbing guide and a Grand Canyon Helitak crew that was fighting the Big Meadows Fire in the park, Patterson said.

The chopper crew helped with a short short-haul rescue of the man, Patterson said. In a short-haul rescue, a 150-foot rope is attached to the bottom of the helicopter and the end of the rope is attached to a rescuer.  It allows the rescuers to be inserted into difficult terrain quickly.

The injured climber was placed in a rescue bag with an rescuer on the end of the rope, Patterson said.  They were both flown to a nearby meadow. The man was then taken by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center.

Authorities didn't release information on the injured man's name or condition.

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