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26-year-old dies after 500-foot fall at Rocky Mountain National Park

The second person this month has died while rock climbing at Rocky Mountain National Park.
26-year-old dies after 500-foot fall at Rocky Mountain National Park
Posted at 2:16 PM, Jul 12, 2023

A 26-year-old woman died after falling 500 feet while free-solo climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park Sunday, the National Park Service said.

The woman from Boulder, Colorado, was climbing the Four Aces of Blitzen Ridge, located on the park's east side Ypsilon Mountain when she fell, the park said in a press release Monday.

Her climbing partner, a 27-year-old male also from Boulder, was uninjured and called park rangers to report her fall.

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members reached the male partner Sunday night, but the park needed help from the Colorado Air National Guard to extract him. The rescue team used a Guard helicopter to hoist him by cable to safety.

On Monday morning, the search and rescue teams hiked above Ypsilon Lake to assist in the woman's helicopter recovery. Her body was then flown to a helispot in another area of the park, then transferred to a local coroner/medical examiner's office where her cause of death will be determined.

She will be publicly identified after her next of kin has been notified, the park service said.

This is the second death at the park this month. On July 2, a 25-year-old man died after falling and being pulled under the park's West Creek Falls stream.

Rocky Mountain National Park has a multitude of different mountain environments, from meadows and lakes to hiking trails and wildlife viewing.

Free-solo climbing, in which the two climbers were taking part, is one activity the park offers. It's the most dangerous form of rock climbing and consists of climbers working without ropes or other protective equipment.

SEE MORE: The Rocky Future Of Climbing Due To Climate Change


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