Free Solo Climber Loses Hold, Falls 500 Feet

Woman's body recovered from Colorado's Ypsilon Mountain on Monday
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2023 3:04 PM CDT
Free Solo Climber Loses Hold, Falls 500 Feet
A view of Ypsilon Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park.   (Wikimedia Commons/Christian Collins)

Lose your hold and you fall. That's the crux of free solo climbing without ropes, anchors, a net, or any other climbing protection. And it was the fate of a 26-year-old Boulder woman who fell 500 feet to her death at Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday. The woman, whose name is being withheld until family members are notified, was climbing on the Four Aces of Ypsilon Mountain's Blitzen Ridge when she tumbled. Her 27-year-old partner, also from Boulder, notified park rangers via cellphone before he was lifted off the mountain, per the Denver Post.

"Because of his location, the park requested assistance from a Colorado Air National Guard helicopter from Buckley Air Force Base to extricate the male climbing partner via a hoist operation, using a winch operated cable," park officials said in a release, per USA Today. The woman's body was recovered from a location above Ypsilon Lake on Monday morning using a helicopter long-line, officials said, then transported to the Office of the Larimer County Coroner/Medical Examiner. (More mountain climbing stories.)

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