|By Jonathan Stickel |
From Golden, CO
Jun 15, 2013
Yesterday, 6/14/13, at about 2:30 pm, I took a leader Fall near the top of the crux pitch of Sidetrack. In retrospect, I was off route, further left the the usual exit, on bulbous rock that was hard to protect. I don't remember falling. My partner and witnesses (CMS guide and client) say my top three pieces popped, I inverted, and fell ~40 ft, bouncing off the rock as I came down. I regained consciousness after they got me settled safely on a ledge near the belay. The first thing I noticed was vomit in my helmet. Then it was many hours of being assisted down by the CMS and RMNP guides, a helicopter short haul (they tell me very unusual for RMNP; it was only because there was one in the area looking at the fire), and ambulance ride to the Estes Park Medical center.
I am recovering fine. I definitely had a concussion, but no other head or spinal injuries. I need to have my foot looked at now to make sure it is not broken. My helmet saved my life! I was also wearing a camel back that blew out during the fall, which probably protected my spine.
Thanks to my partner, the CMS guide, all the RMNP guides, and medical crew that helped me safely off the wall and performed necessary medical treatment.