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Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
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Please be respectful when posting - family and friends of fallen climbers might be reading this forum.
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Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby geojed » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:24 pm

That would be this headwall I presume. (Yes I know it will have much less snow than shown in the picture)
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• It's by getting away from life that we can see it most clearly... It's by depriving ourselves of the myriad of everyday experiences that we renew our appreciation for them...I've learned from my experiences in the mountains that I love life. — Dave Johnston
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Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby GregMiller » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:07 pm

Yes, but with much less snow.
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

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Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby djkest » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:05 am

Barb4rian wrote:The article is missing a few key points or has them incorrect. GregMiller, Doug, and I aided her friends in the early part of the rescue to get her to safety. She actually fell about 200 feet down a snow field on the upper head wall above the parking lot at 12,700.


When we did Castle Peak a couple years ago (2011) we witnessed a female climber take quite a nasty tumble at this exact same spot. She was climbing the snow slope without the aid of spikes or axe and fell at the top of the headwall and tumbled down about 150-200 feet. She was able to walk out under her own power, thankfully.

Hope this climber recovers swiftly.
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Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby speth » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:54 am

Nice work, guys, good lookin out for others in the hills.
I'll be damned if I feel like I will ever know anything, but if we don't keep moving on that last hill, we'll never know what's on the other side.
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The rain and thunder, the wind and haze are bound for better days. My life, my dream. Nothin's gonna stop me now.
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[-X What are you insinuating? Do you think I'm Ranger? =; Because if you do than you are dead wrong.
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Sarcasm or not, it's not even funny to post something like this. Not at this time. Reported.
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Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby ezabielski » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:09 pm

geojed wrote:That would be this headwall I presume.


I was there two weeks ago and there was about 1/10th as much snow as there is in that picture.

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Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby DeTour » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:42 pm

I was under the impression that spikes/ice axe would not be necessary this year for a Labor Day climb of Castle. As once-a-year flatlander visitors, we've not acquired that gear. Am I mistaken? We could seek out the gentler incline more to climber's right along that stretch.

(Don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but since she's OK and it's kind of on-topic ....)
when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby forbins_mtn » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:11 pm

My lady and I did it in trail runners about a month ago. Be careful and you'll be fine

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Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby GregMiller » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:28 pm

There is no snow on or near the trail, which goes up climber's left side of the head wall, just right of the gully on that side. See the arrows in the picture posted above. We headed straight from the area where the picture is to where the arrows point up, and found a good line of cairns leading up something trail-like. Loose rock, however, is a constant threat from that point on (as is to be expected in the Elks).
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

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Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby ezabielski » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:01 am

GregMiller wrote:There is no snow on or near the trail, which goes up climber's left side of the head wall, just right of the gully on that side. See the arrows in the picture posted above. We headed straight from the area where the picture is to where the arrows point up, and found a good line of cairns leading up something trail-like. Loose rock, however, is a constant threat from that point on (as is to be expected in the Elks).


Correct. I believe it is possible to do Castle without touching any snow. Don't bring microspikes or an ice axe. I think a helmet is worth bringing, though.

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Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby GregMiller » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:56 am

ezabielski wrote:I think a helmet is worth bringing, though.


Definitely. Also, wear it. I saw a lot of people carry helmets on their packs all the way to the summit #-o I'd recommend wearing one on all terrain above the end of the 4wd road.
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

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Re: Non-fatal fall from Castle Peak

Postby Irunbikehike » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:06 pm

djkest wrote:
Barb4rian wrote:The article is missing a few key points or has them incorrect. GregMiller, Doug, and I aided her friends in the early part of the rescue to get her to safety. She actually fell about 200 feet down a snow field on the upper head wall above the parking lot at 12,700.


When we did Castle Peak a couple years ago (2011) we witnessed a female climber take quite a nasty tumble at this exact same spot. She was climbing the snow slope without the aid of spikes or axe and fell at the top of the headwall and tumbled down about 150-200 feet. She was able to walk out under her own power, thankfully.

Hope this climber recovers swiftly.


Djkest, not sure how common it is for people to fall in that area, but that could have been my fall that you witnessed in 2011. I had a number of scrapes and bruises, but I was thankfully spared any serious injuries. Knowing I wasn't seriously hurt, it was hard to decide what was worse at the time: the pain from my fall, or the pain from realizing I just lost 150-200 feet within a minute, and it would take me a long time to gain that back.

If anyone chooses to ascend that snowfield instead of the rocky detour, I highly encourage you to strap on your helmet. When I finally came to a stop on my fall, I was within a few feet of going head-first into a group of large rocks, and that might have been the end for me. My helmet was still strapped to my pack because we were planning on wearing them above the snowfield, where rockfall is more of a concern.

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