1 Climber Killed in Fall and 1 Rescued After Pair Got Off-Route Near Crestone Traverse, CO

CragBrains | ClimbingClimbing
Credit: Custer County SAR

On Wednesday, August 3, Custer County SAR was activated for two Denver-area climbers located at around 13,800 ft. near the Crestone Traverse. The pair had gotten off-route when one member sustained a fatal fall.

The other member down-climbed to reach him and was unable to ascend or descend safely from that point. She was able to immediately call for help through her Garmin inReach and further communicated with our team on her cell phone. The timing of the communication was critical because of the threat of weather moving into the area.

With helicopter support from DFPC Canon City Helitack, two members of the CCSAR Technical Rope Rescue Team were able to reach both members of the climbing party and successfully bring them out of the field.

We send our deep condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of the deceased climber and his partner.

Careful and precise route-finding is imperative when climbing in the Crestone Group as the consequences are extremely high. Additionally, regardless of skill or experience, backcountry accidents can happen to anyone. As the monsoon season continues, we urge folks to check detailed/pinpoint weather forecasts. With questionable weather conditions, choosing your route is important – in some cases, simply reversing direction is not possible. This may mean an earlier start and a willingness to turn around if you aren’t moving fast enough to be off the peaks before the weather moves in. And as always, be sure to carry effective rain gear and have enough food, water, and clothing to spend a night out should something go wrong. We also recommend carrying two-way communication/GPS devices, cell phones, and extra batteries/charging blocks as well as leaving a detailed trip itinerary with someone.

We thank our partners at Canon City Helitack and Saguache County Search & Rescue for their help in this mission. #safetyfirst #knowbeforeyougo #everythingchangesinaninstant

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