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 Peak(s):  Kit Carson Peak  -  14,165 feet
Challenger Point  -  14,081 feet
 Post Date:  08/25/2009 Modified: 09/04/2009
 Date Climbed:   08/23/2009
 Posted By:  zeekzilch

 Snowfield accident, tattoos and berries - videos and pix   

 
 
Participants: Roger J. Wendell (aka ZeekZilch), Aidan and Will
Timing: About 2:45 from Willow Lake to Challenger Point and then another hour to Kit Carson
Photos and Videos: All by ZeekZilch except the first photo on top Kit Carson - that was taken by some other summiteer
 
Image
    Aidan, Will and ZeekZilch on top Kit Carson

 
 
 

Danger!
While we were hiking up to Willow Lake a group was coming down having just rescued one of their own on Kit Carson. A guy, in his 20s, attempted to cross the snowfield to gather up his mates who had fallen a bit behind. He had no crampons or ice axe so used a stone to help knock steps across the snow. He made it across, okay, but had to return because his sister was having difficulty. That's when he slipped and fell - seriously scraping up his arms and legs. There were no broken bones or internal injuries that he was aware of but he did say he came close to losing his life. I asked him to create a trip report as accidents can be a great learning tool for the rest of us. I haven't seen his posting yet so I'm making this entry to benefit everyone who is interested in climbing safety - not to embarrass him! I was going to photograph him as his hand and arm were completely covered in bandages and his bare legs seriously bloodied. But, I thought better of it and allowed him to maintain his privacy. However, further up we ran into the climbing party that helped bandage him and they confirmed the report having witnessed, firsthand, this guy careening down the snowfield out-of-control. Beware!!


Yosemite98 added this information immediately after my posting:
Hey Roger, I was up there helping with the guy (Rob) who hurtled down the snow field and got really lucky (Thanks to the group from Texas, fellow Texas A&M grads, for bandaging Rob up. There was also a RN that helped out especially on his torn up hands). Anyway, FYI, the snow field in the pictures isn't the one he got hurt on, he actually fell down the snow field just to the left as you go up the normal Challenger route (class 2+ scree crap). He and his sister started coming down Challenger too early, before the notch, and that's how they ended up having to cross over.

 
 
 

Here are my personal pages about 14ers, low impact techniques, and the Ten Essentials:
http://www.rogerwendell.com/14ers.html
http://www.rogerwendell.com/softly.html
http://www.rogerwendell.com/ten.html

 
 
 

YouTube videos here and further down the page...
If all you see is white space here it's because your boss has blocked YouTube and wants you to get back to work! (This means YOU Doug!)
 

(Scroll further below to see the photographs)
 
 

    Will makes his way to the summit of Kit Carson  

 
 

    Aidan makes his way to the summit of Kit Carson  
 
 
 

    Hiking along Kit Carson Avenue 


Image
    The road to Crestone, Colorado

 

 

    YouTube video driving through the town of Crestone
 
 
 

Image
    A local Crestone lady stops to admire Will's tattoos!


 
 

Image
    On the trail just a little way above the trailhead parking area

 
 
 

Image
    Trailhead

 
 
 

Image
    Heading to Willow Lake

 
 
 

Image
    Will and Aidan sign us in

 
 
 

Image
    Challenger Point with Kit Carson just behind it...

 
 
 

Image
    Two climbers (if you look closely) heading down Challenger towards Kit Carson Avenue

 
 
 

Image
    Kit Carson Avenue

 
 
 

Image
    Kit Carson Avenue

 
 
 

Image
    Will and Aidan on Kit Carson Avenue

 
 
 

Image
    Going up the wrong gully to the top of Kit Carson...

 
 
 

Image
    Looking back at Challenger from Kit Carson

 
 
 

Image
    Will eating a sandwhich, on top Kit Carson, while Aidan doesn't think I see him taking my pretzels...

 
 
 

Image
    Aidan complimenting me on my leadership skills...

 
 
 


Image
    Aidan and Will downclimbing 3rd class off Kit Carson

 
 
 

Image
    Aidan and Will downclimbing Kit Carson

 
 
 

Image
    Chaucy and TerryLiv after I sent them in the wrong direction...

 
 
 

Image
    San Luis Valley and part of Crestone

 
 
 

Image
    A snowfield, on Kit Carson, (but not the one the accident occurred on...)

 
 
 

Image
    Kit Carson snowfield

 
 
 


Image
    Will and Aidan heading down off the base of Challenger

 
 
 

Image
    Aidan reminds me it's time to get up and start walking again...

 
 
 

Image
    Willow Lake

 
 
 

Image
    Waterfall at Willow Lake

 
 
 

Image
    Aidan at Willow Lake

 
 
 

Image
    Too many firepits around Willow Lake - Remember, only YOU can prevent campfires!

 
 
 

Image
    Wild berries - please leave 'em for the wildlife (see last photo, below)

 
 
 

Image
    Wild goats - they need the wild berries in the previous picture!

 

    Wild Goat video

 
 
http://www.rogerwendell.com
 



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
globreal


Congrats Roger...     2011-02-04 17:22:16
Way to go! You are knocking them out this summer. Wish I was with you...especially since we didn‘t get this one back on May 31st. But I am happy that you got it now.
And nice job on Capitol! Loved your YouTube videos on that as well.


zeekzilch


globreal     2009-08-25 20:25:06
Thanks! Yep, it was bit tougher with snow on it, wasn‘t it!!

Do you want to do Little Bear next weekend??


ColoradoSherpa


nice.     2009-08-25 23:00:22
Nice trip report! The videos are a nice touch, especially the one on Kit Carson Avenue.


ROCK HOPPER

I enjoy reading..     2009-08-26 01:44:29
your trip reports. Where did the guy fall on the snowfield? If Little Bear is next weekend, when is El Diente?


zeekzilch


ROCK HOPPER     2009-08-26 08:09:48
Thank you for the nice comment!

I believe he fell up near the top and to the right - if I recall, that‘s where we could clearly see a long skid mark going into the rocks...

El Diente will be over the holiday weekend - let me know if you‘re interested!

Roger


dcbates80911


Snowfield???     2009-08-26 09:08:22
I really enjoy your reports. A group of us are hitting this combo this weekend. Do you have to cross this snow field or are there ways to avoid it? From your pictures I think you maybe able to avoid. Just trying to figure out what I need to bring since this will include a hike in and camp. Didn‘t look like your group had axes or crampons.

Thanks,


zeekzilch


dcbates80911     2009-08-26 10:10:55
No need to cross any of the snowfields. In fact, I strongly recommend you avoid ‘em! So, no need for an ice ax or crampons, either. However, a helmet is a good idea. Have fun!

Roger J. Wendell


JosephG

Class 3 v. 2+: the ”right” answer!     2009-08-26 11:43:12
Going up that ”wrong” Class 3 gully to KC‘s summit was way better than going down the ”right” Class 2+ gully back to the Avenue!

I barely even remember that snowfield; certainly no need to go anywhere near it from the Willow Lake route.

You‘re almost done...!


yosemite98


Snowfield was on Challenger     2010-11-30 10:28:48
Hey Roger, I was up there helping with the guy (Rob) who hurtled down the snow field and got really lucky (Thanks to the group from Texas, fellow Texas A&M grads, for bandaging Rob up. There was also a RN that helped out especially on his torn up hands). Anyway, FYI, the snow field in the pictures isn't the one he got hurt on, he actually fell down the snow field just to the left as you go up the normal Challenger route (class 2+ scree crap). He and his sister started coming down Challenger too early, before the notch, and that's how they ended up having to cross over.


bigtrout


Well done, Roger     2009-09-06 09:02:48
Well done! I‘m glad you finally got up Kit Carson. Steve, Shaun, Eric and I climbed Kit Carson from South Colony on July 7,8. Congrats!


dneckels

Neat photos     2009-12-04 10:32:40
I got chewed out over on summitpost just before your trip for making comments about people not respecting the snow on this very mountain. And here goes someone else sliding down. Nice.
Let Darwin prevail, whatdo I care?



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