Flagstaff, AZ – On September 9, 2018 at approximately 1:20 PM the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit responded with the Flagstaff Fire Department and Guardian Medical Transport to a climbing accident at the climbing area known as The Pit which is accessed from the Canyon Vista Campground. Information gathered was that a 12-year-old male who was climbing with family members had fallen approximately 20 feet and was injured and in need of rescue.
Responders from Guardian Medical Transport, Flagstaff Fire Department, and Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue hiked into the climber’s location and initiated treatment and transport out of the canyon in a basket litter to a waiting ambulance at the campground. The climber sustained a head injury and a wrist injury and was transported by ambulance to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment. The climber and his family were from the greater Phoenix area.
Investigation into the accident revealed that the climber was lead climbing a route known as The Microwave and fell while he was attempting to clip his rope to the third bolt fixed on the route. When he fell, the carabiners connected to the second bolt and first bolt broke causing the climber to land at the base of the climb after falling approximately 20 feet. Upon inspection it was determined that the carabiners that broke were not rated for climbing.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit would like to remind climbers to routinely inspect their equipment and ensure that the equipment they are using is rated for the activity that they are engaging in. Failure to use properly rated equipment could lead to a serious accident.