Kyle Walker, 26, fell an estimated 50 to 60 feet from the second Flatiron in Boulder, Colorado in April sustaining critical injuries while living to tell the tale. Since then, he’s uploaded a self-recorded video of his fall that appears to be taken with a chest-mounted GoPro, along with more details of the incident.
In details published with the video, Walker claims that the accident occurred while he was climbing “Flatiron 2,” a rock formation that he had climbed many times before. However, this time he attempted to summit via a complicated and unfamiliar 5.13 move without ropes according to the original video upload.
For those of our readers unfamiliar with climbing ratings, a 5.13 rating can be considered to be extremely difficult, often only climbed by experts. While there don’t seem to be listed routes of this difficulty on the second Flatiron, it may have been an unlisted route or an estimation of difficulty.
According to Walker’s account of the incident, the accident occurred when Walker slipped on lichen covering part of the wall resulting in a slip.
After landing, Walker states that he was slipping in and out of consciousness where he came to rest for at least an hour until he was discovered by a passing hiker. At that point, the search and rescue process began.
With the details included in the posting of his video, he also lists his injuries, which includes broken wrists, 8 broken ribs, a broken pelvis, and a punctured lung.
An article about the incident published by the Denver Post mentions that Walker is healing “surprisingly quickly.”
Kyle Walker was participating in a style of climbing that involved free solo climbing – the practice of climbing with no safety equipment. This is a type of climbing that has a high level of risk and tends to attract only the most experienced. That being said, experience can never eliminate all of the risk in a sport where a single accident can result in death.
If you’re rock climbing, it’s important to understand the risks involved and adjust your practice of the sport accordingly. If you’re not comfortable with a potential risk of death, free solo climbing isn’t for you.
View the video below, but be warned that it could be considered graphic by some. There’s no blood or broken bones, but it does involve the first person view of the terrifying fall.
See the original video upload on Youtube here.
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