A Flagstaff woman was injured Thursday morning while she was rock climbing on Mount Elden.
According to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, the 38 year-old woman was climbing with three other people on the west side of Mount Elden in the area of Upper Oldham Trail at approximately 10:45 a.m. Thursday. As she was about to place a new climbing anchor in a crack in the sheer rock face about 12 feet above her previous anchor, her handhold broke.
The victim fell approximately 25 feet before she jerked to a stop at the end of her secured safety line. The rope prevented her from free-falling to the ground. However, the force of the sudden stop caused her to slam sideways into the rocky mountainside with a great deal of force.
One of the other climbers in the victim’s group called Sheriff’s Office 911 dispatchers at 10:46 a.m. to report the fall, which caused unknown injuries. Coconino County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit and the Flagstaff Fire Department responded to the call for service.
The three other climbers managed to free the victim from her line and place her on the ground before rescuers arrived. Flagstaff firefighters provided on-scene medical care and prepared the victim for transportation on a medical litter. Eight Flagstaff firefighters and seven Search and Rescue volunteers then took turns carrying the victim approximately three-fourths of a mile to a waiting Guardian Ground Medical Transport ambulance. The rescue operation took about an hour.
The victim was transported to the Flagstaff Medical Center, where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Her name has not been released.