hiker rescue golden colorado boulder fall

First Responders Rescue Hiker Pinned Under 1,500-lb Boulder

A 1,500-lb boulder fell 30 feet onto a passing hiker. It pinned her for more than two hours before rescuers could get her free.

Video still: Golden Fire-Rescue

A 30-year-old European woman visiting Colorado for a conference suffered multiple fractures and was unconscious following a hiking accident Wednesday on North Table Mountain near Golden, Colo.

The unidentified woman was walking with her friend in an area popular with hikers and climbers when a massive boulder broke free and landed on her. Her companion, also unidentified, later told responders he heard a loud “crack.” He said he looked up and saw the 1,500-lb. rock coming at them from 30 feet above.

Video of the hiker being freed is below.


The rescue lasted two hours, with crews dispatched at 12:30 p.m. and the woman freed around 2:45. Over 10 agencies coordinated to rescue the hiker, including the Golden Fire Department (GFD) and West Metro Fire Department. Both tweeted updates from the scene.

A Small Stroke Of Luck

In what might turn out to be a fortuitous twist, the woman’s hiking companion came across two paramedics from Littleton, Colo., who happened to be hiking nearby. Those paramedics tended the woman while another passing hiker ran down to call 911.

To complete the rescue, crews from Golden Fire-Rescue had to haul a hydraulic system up in pieces from the trailhead roughly an hour away. Once rescuers removed the boulder, they used a “high-angle rope system” to hoist the woman up to a ridge. There, a Flight For Life helicopter waited, according to the West Metro Fire Dept.

The Denver Post reported that moving the woman up to the helicopter required a 45-minute hike up a “steep, snowy hill.”

The GFD also told the post that despite multiple fractures and loss of consciousness, her vitals were “fairly good.”

The hospital where she was taken and her current condition are unknown.

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Adam Ruggiero
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Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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