Serious Accident on Longs Peak

The Diamond on Longs Peak in winter.

The Diamond on Longs Peak in winter. The North Chimney is the snow-filled gully below the Diamond in right center. Photo by Dougald MacDonald.

8/19/13 - A climber was hit by rockfall while approaching the Diamond on Longs Peak in Colorado and suffered severe injuries in the resulting 50- to 60-foot fall. The 34-year-old man was working his way up the North Chimney approach (500 feet, ca. 5.5) on a busy Friday morning, and the rockfall reportedly hit him while he was leading. Fortunately, he was roped up (simul-climbing) and thus did not fall all the way to the base of the east face of Longs Peak. Many climbers choose to solo the North Chimney approach.

He suffered a skull fracture, fractured spine, punctured lungs, and other injuries, but was evacuated with the help of Rocky Mountain National Park rangers and fellow climbers, and over the weekend he had successful surgery to treat his injuries.

In a discussion about the incident at Mountain Project, climbers credited Tommy Caldwell and Jonathan Siegrist, who are working on a new free route on the Diamond, with abandoning their climb to assist with the rescue.

An online fund-raiser to assist the climber with his medical bills has been started by friends and family. Get more information or donate here.

Date of incident: August 16, 2013

Sources: National Park Service, Mountain Project, Facebook