Barbara Lawlor, Boulder Canyon.
A 19-year-old man, Taylor Andrew, of Louisville, fell about 30 feet down a Castle Rock wall in Boulder Canyon on Sunday around 1:30 p.m. A rock ledge broke his fall and kept him from plummeting another 50 feet to the bottom of the formation. He sustained head trauma injuries and a technical vertical descent rescue was put in place.
The Nederland Fire Protection District, American Medical Response, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and Boulder County Parks and Open Space Rangers responded to the scene. About 20 RMR volunteers in full climbing gear gathered and a handful began the ascent to the ledge to aid the patient.
Another climbing group had been in the area when the fall occurred and said the climbers did not appear to be experienced. When NFPD crews arrived, EMT Dave Femmer climbed the wall with the aid of ropes set up by RMR to administer medical help. The ledge could only accommodate about half a dozen people.
Down below, a team set up pulleys and ropes to send a litter to the ledge, where the emergency workers used their technical knowledge to load the patient and prepare him for the descent to the waiting ambulance. Two RMR volunteers belayed down the wall with the litter and the patient, while crews monitored the drop from below. It was a successful rescue.
The patient was loaded into an AMR ambulance and taken to a rendezvous with a medical helicopter near Rogers Park. The man was flown to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver. During the chopper landing and takeoff, Boulder Canyon was closed to traffic.
As of Monday, the extent of Andrew’s injuries are not known.