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Rockfall: Close call in Avalanche Gulch
A close call today in Avalanche Gulch. A solo climber took a glancing blow to the upper leg from a "500 lb rock" near The Heart, ~11,500 feet. Another solo climber came to aid and assisted him back down to Helen Lake. The injured, with the help of the other climber, was able to self-rescue off the mountain.
Climbers and skiers can ascend to Helen Lake via Avalanche Gulch with low risk for avalanches, rockfall and slips and falls currently. From Helen Lake to Redbanks, this is the rockfall/fall zone and where the vast majority of our accidents happen on this route. The various routes up through this zone are shown. Snow on the mountain means the rocks are covered and locked in place. We don't have that this year. The more rock exposed, the greater chance for rockfall. It's a roll of the dice, and the odds are good. It's up to you the risk you're willing to take.