Man dies in climbing fall

| Barbara Lawlor • Boulder County |

On Sunday afternoon, about 3:15 p.m. on Sept. 2, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a fallen climber in the area of the 32-mile marker of Boulder Canyon. A 28-year-old male had been climbing on rocks directly above the highway when he lost his footing and fell approximately 150 feet onto the road below.
Resuscitation efforts by witnesses and members of the Nederland and Sugarloaf fire departments were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and Boulder County Coroner’s Office are investigating. The preliminary investigation does not suggest foul play.
Boulder Canyon was closed for a couple of hours while investigators worked the scene. Traffic was diverted to Sugar Loaf Road and Magnolia Road as streams of weekend travelers flowed up and down the canyon.
About 15 minutes after the canyon call was reported, the Boulder County Communications Center received a 911 call of another injured party in Dream Canyon located off Lost Angel Road in the Sugar Loaf area. Michael Mullen was scrambling out of the canyon when he fell approximately 30 feet. He suffered compound fractures to both his legs.
Personnel from Rocky Mountain Rescue, Sugarloaf Fire Protection District, AMR Paramedics and the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the technical evacuation. This rescue took about two hours. Mullen was flown by helicopter to Swedish Medical Center. His condition is unknown at this time.
These climbing accidents follow a couple other climbing or hiking incidents in the previous weeks.
On Aug. 17, about 1 p.m., the Nederland Fire Department, Rocky Mountain Rescue and Boulder County Sheriff’s Office responded to Arapahoe Peak from Fourth of July Camp ground on a report of an injured hiker. The patient, James McGuire, 56 years old, contacted his wife by cell phone stating he was injured. McGuire had been hiking with his two daughters when he slipped and fell, injuring his ankle.
His daughter Erin was also stuck on the mountain face and needed to be rescued. Members from Rocky Mountain Rescue and Nederland Fire and Boulder County Sheriff’s fire crew located parties and evacuated them out to the trailhead. McGuire was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette, with an injured right ankle.
The next day, about 8 p.m., the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office was called to the 2400 block of Fourmile Canyon, on the report of an unconscious male at the bottom of an estimated 150 foot ravine. The Fourmile Fire Department, Boulder Emergency Squad, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group and American Medical Response all responded to assist with the rescue.
The man was seriously injured and airlifted to Denver Health Hospital by Northern Colorado Medevac. The male did not have any identification on his person. He is described as a white male, possibly in his late 20’s, wearing a black t-shirt, Khaki shorts and Columbian Trail Runner shoes, brown and tan in color. No associated vehicle or bicycle was found in the immediate area.

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