DENVER – A group of climbers was caught in an avalanche on Torreys Peak Sunday that injured one climber, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
The group had been practicing ahead of a climbing trip to the Pacific Northwest and set out on the Grays Peak trailhead around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
They were climbing up the east face of the peak in a single-rope group up Dead Dog Couloir, nearing the top of the peak. The CAIC says the group stopped about halfway up the couloir around 8:15 a.m. and started heading back up above a rock outcropping just before 9 a.m.
At that time, a section of rock above and to the right of the group fell, with some of the rocks hitting the climbers. The rockfall triggered a loose-wet avalanche that ran down the east face of the slope.
The CAIC says one climber was hit by moving debris but traveled “only a short distance.” Two climbers were hit by rocks, one of whom was injured.
The report came in to the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office Communications Center around 9:05 a.m. The climbers were able to render first aid to the injured person and go back to the trailhead without assistance, the CAIC said.
Clear Creek County Sheriffs, EMS, Alpine Rescue Team, Summit Search and Rescue and two medical helicopters responded to the scene. After reaching the injured hikers, their injuries were determined to be minor, the sheriff’s office said. The hikers were evacuated off the mountain.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, avalanches are less likely in the summer, but there have been fatal accidents every month of the year.