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Rescue teams hike, climb 2,100 feet into Colo. canyon for injured climber

National Park Service officials said a climber fell from the Great White Wall and suffered traumatic injuries


Black Canyon/National Park Service

By Brooke Baitinger
The Charlotte Observer

MONTROSE, Colo. — A climber fell down one of the country’s steepest rock walls in a huge canyon in Colorado and was knocked unconscious, officials said.

Rescue teams hiked to the North Rim of Black Canyon, dropped 1,800 feet in, scaled 300 feet to the climber, and lowered them to the bottom, National Park Service officials said in a Sept. 12 news release.

It happened around 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 11, officials said. The climber fell from the Great White Wall and suffered “major” traumatic injuries, officials said in the release.

A Colorado Army National Guard helicopter flew the patient out of the canyon from the bottom later that evening just before 7:30 p.m., officials said. They were transferred to a medical air ambulance, which flew them to Saint Mary’s hospital in Grand Junction.

Officials did not provide information about the climber’s identity or condition.

“Climbing at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is serious and requires training, preparation, and experience. It is not for beginners,” officials said. “Even the seasoned climber can face risk of injury or death on the steep walls. Climbers, and hikers, must prepare to face many hazards and self-rescue if required. There is little to no cell service or communication at the park and any trip must be approached with great caution and care.”

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