The Durango Fire Protection District rescued a climber who fell from a boulder Friday afternoon in the Animas Valley.
The climber was a 19-year-old male who was unconscious and breathing when medics arrived.
“They weren’t actually on the cliff face, they were down in the bouldering area,” DFPD Battalion Chief Randy Black said. “They didn’t have any protective gear, no ropes, no helmets. Apparently, he slipped on ice and fell about 20 feet, where he struck his face.”
DFPD got the call about 4:50 p.m. In addition to 14 DFPD personnel and volunteers, they were joined by five volunteers from La Plata County Search and Rescue.
“We had to do a little rope work to get him out,” Black said, “then we were able to use the Levitator (a wheeled stretcher for backcountry rescues).”
While treating the climber, who had regained consciousness, for head injuries, his condition began to worsen, Black said.
Medics had requested Flight For Life, but when they got him down to the road, the ambulance had arrived.
“So he went straight into the ambulance, and it was faster just to transport him,” Black said.
Black could not release the climber’s name, and he did not know his condition Friday evening.