Tragedy struck in Boulder County when a 23-year-old hiker died after taking a fall during an evening thunderstorm.
At approximately 7:00 PM on Wednesday, June 24, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office received a report of two hikers stranded near the top of South Boulder Peak. Later information would reveal that slick rocks had the hikers struggling to descend from the summit.
While the two hikers were attempting to navigate the rock, the 19-year-old female hiker took a fall sustaining non-life-threatening injuries. The 23-year-old male hiker accompanying her attempted to reach her, falling approximately 30 feet in the process. The man sustained a life-threatening head injury as a result of the fall.
Search and rescue crews arrived on scene by foot, accompanied by a Flight for Life helicopter. The injured male was taken to the hospital first. The helicopter then returned for the female. The male hiker would later die at the hospital from his injuries.
Details about what trail the two had been hiking on during the accident were not included, though reaching the true summit of this mountain can be dangerous. According to SummitPost.org, South Boulder Peak has a Class 2+ summit block. A class 2+ summit block means that some rock scrambling is required to reach the true summit. This rating is just below class 3, a rating at which some hikers opt to use a rope.
South Boulder Peak reaches 8,549 feet west of Boulder. It’s the largest summit in the Boulder Range, which is known for being home to the Flatirons.
Thanks goes to the agencies involved with this mission, including the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Rocky Mountain Fire, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Flight for Life Colorado, and the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks.