Climber rescued on Colorado’s El Diente Peak after fall

A climber with a broken leg was rescued after he fell to a ledge on El Diente Peak, rescuers said.

A climber with a broken leg was rescued after he fell to a ledge on El Diente Peak, rescuers said.

West Fork Volunteer Fire Department

A climber fell from a Colorado peak and broke his leg, rescuers said.

As he fell, nearly all of his gear plunged off the ledge. But he clung to one device that saved him.

The man was climbing on El Diente Peak on Sunday, July 31, according to the Dolores County Search and Rescue team. He was stuck 14,020 feet up.

Rescuers rushed to the scene after receiving a call for help, officials said. A helicopter crew flew to the scene to help get to the climber’s location.

“The Helitack crew was able to haul the injured climber the 5.5 miles to the waiting SAR teams who loaded him into the SW Memorial Ambulance just before a deluge of mountain rain hit,” rescuers said.

The man and rescuers were off the mountain before a “torrential downpour” struck.

Rescuers said the mission was full of luck and could’ve taken a turn.

The helicopter used in the rescue was leaving for California the next day, so they could only help that day. Rescuers said even a 15-minute delay in the rescue would have caused them to cancel the mission because of the weather.

Additionally, the climber had luck of his own.

“Upon falling, the climber’s backpack continued falling off the ledge that saved him and flew hundreds of feet below – but he DID have his inReach and phone still to call for help,” rescuers said of his satellite communicator.

El Diente Peak is about 60 miles north of Durango.

Maddie Capron is a McClatchy Real-Time News Reporter focused on the outdoors and wildlife in the western US. She graduated from Ohio University and previously worked at CNN, the Idaho Statesman and the Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism.


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