AAC Leader Suffers Serious Accident

AAC Leader Suffers Serious Accident

UPDATED: 6/2/11 - Today, the Club would like to congratulate Phil on his release from the hospital. He is feeling as spry as is reasonable under the circumstances and focused on healing and the recovery process. Phil is headed home to spend some time with his family.

5/23/11 - Phil continues to steadily make progress in his recovery. He remains in stable condition at the St. Anthony's Hospital intensive care ward in Denver. In order to facilitate his recovery, the family is requesting no visitors at this time.

5/21/11 - Phil remains stable. The family requests that there be no visitors at present. No additional updates to report at this time.

5/20/11 - Last night, doctors successfully performed surgery to fuse Powers' T-12, L-1, and L-2 vertebrae. Powers, 50, sustained injuries as the result of a climbing accident on May 17. Powers has maintained feeling in and motion of his hands and feet throughout his recovery, and it appears that no spinal cord damage has occurred. Powers continues to make progress toward recovery. He is in stable condition at the St. Anthony's Hospital intensive care ward in Denver.

5/19/11 - As reported previously, American Alpine Club (AAC) Executive Director Phil Powers was injured in a climbing accident. He is presently in stable condition in the intensive care ward at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver. Powers sustained multiple injuries to his torso region in the fall, including a broken arm, fractured ribs and vertebras, a punctured diaphragm, a collapsed lung, and substantial internal bruising.

Powers successfully underwent surgery Wednesday evening to repair his broken arm, which followed a Tuesday evening surgery to repair his punctured diaphragm. He is resting comfortably and doing quite well. As is common when multiple injuries are sustained, doctors are presently monitoring Powers’ condition closely and acting conservatively when making decisions regarding future procedures.

5/18/11 - American Alpine Club Executive Director Phil Powers fell an estimated 50 to 60 feet to the ground while climbing in Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado, yesterday. Powers, 50, suffered several broken bones and internal injuries, but was conscious and communicative after the fall. He was flown from the scene by helicopter. He has had surgery and remains in the hospital in Denver. Detailed circumstances of the accident are not known.

Powers has been executive director of the AAC since 2005, and has spearheaded major changes in the organization, including a significant increase in membership benefits launched this spring. He previously has worked as a senior staffer for Naropa University, the National Outdoor Leadership School, and Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, where he remains a co-owner. He has climbed K2 and Gasherbrum II, among many other peaks, and has done alpine first ascents in Alaska and Pakistan.

Well-wishes may be be sent to the AAC at 710 10th St., Golden, CO 80401. Watch the American Alpine Club website for updates.

Date of Accident: May 17, 2011

Source: American Alpine Club