Blitzen Ridge: Free-solo climber dies after fall in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park


A 26-year-old woman from Boulder, Colorado, died Sunday after falling about 500 feet while climbing alone on a ridge in the state’s Rocky Mountain National Park, the park said.

The woman’s 27-year-old climbing partner, who was not identified, called park rangers to report that his partner had fallen from Blitzen Ridge on Mount Ypsilon, the National Park Service said in a statement Monday.

Free-soloing is a risky climbing technique where climbers climb without ropes, support or safety equipment – ​​leaving them unprotected in the event of a fall.

Search and rescue team members reached the climbing partner unharmed Sunday evening, though his location prompted them to request assistance from the Colorado Air National Guard, the park said. A helicopter from Buckley Air Force Base was used to pick up the man.

Early Monday, a search and rescue team traveled to the area above Lake Ypsilon to prepare for a helicopter recovery of the woman’s body, according to the release. The body was then airlifted to another part of the park and then transferred to a medical examiner’s office, which will determine the cause of death, the statement said.

This is the second death reported in Rocky Mountain National Park this month. A 25-year-old man died last week after falling and being pulled under water at the park’s West Creek Falls.

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