CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colorado (CBS4) – Two Denver women were seriously injured on Saturday in an area with established climbing routes in Clear Creek Canyon. Authorities closed part of Highway 6 after fire trucks, ambulances, a medical helicopter and rescue workers responded on site and demanded that all lanes be used.
The emergency services were informed of the incident around 10:15 a.m.
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According to Captain Ben Moline of the Golden Fire Department, a man climbed one of the many routes east of Tunnel 2. He was about 9 meters above one of the women who were on the stand, or supported his ascent with a safety rope. When the man grabbed and pulled himself up, a large “person-sized” stone, as described by witnesses, came off and fell.
It hit the floor near the woman and shattered. One of the flying pieces hit the woman in the head. She wasn’t wearing a helmet.
Another female climber, who was standing nearby but not actively climbing, was hit in the foot.
The man was unharmed.
“That was kind of a fluke to be honest,” Moline told CBS4. “The rock formations just change over time. We’ve had a lot of rain lately and today it was hot. The rocks expand. We believe that happened today. “
Moline admitted that the climbers were lucky that the boulder didn’t land directly on one of the women.
“They were lucky with where the rock fell and how it broke into pieces,” said Moline. But he added, “The climbers did exactly what they had to do after the accident.”
Moline said the accident occurred east of Tunnel 2 on rock formations popular with intermediate and advanced climbers. He said the area has 15-20 established routes.
The fire department cart lifted a bucket to meet rescuers and their patients halfway up the slope. It’s a maneuver that Moline said they used more than once at this point. This is faster than building a rope system and also safer, says Moline.
The women, both 37 years old, were taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center.
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The Colorado State Patrol shared a video of the Flight For Life helicopter showing the woman with the head injury.
One patient gone, another has yet to be healed. pic.twitter.com/1hoJx6BnYJ
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About 30 minutes later, a second climber was also rescued. She was also taken to St. A’s, but in the Stadium Medical ambulance.
US 6 was blocked in both directions between CO 119 and CO 58. The motorway was opened again at around 1:30 p.m.
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