Phil Powers, AAC Exec Director, seriously injured

来源: American Alpine Club

下降, 交流不畅, 跌落17米坠地.

May 19, 2011, Golden, COOn the afternoon of Tuesday, May 17, American Alpine Club (AAC) Executive Director Phil Powers was injured in a climbing accident. He is presently in stable condition in the intensive care ward at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver, CO.

When the accident occurred, Powers was climbing with a group near AAC headquarters in Clear Creek Canyon’s Highwire area outside of Golden, CO. Clear Creek Canyon is a popular and accessible sport climbing crag on public land.

The area where the group was climbing is directly above the highway and river. The rock formation at the site of the accident is overhanging making direct sight contact difficult. Due to communication difficulties, there was confusion amongst the party over Powers’ method of descent which resulted in Powers falling approximately 50 feet to the ground.

Powers landed on dirt mainly on the left side of his seat and torso and suffered a brief loss of consciousness. His companions immediately assessed him and began implementation of wilderness first aid and rescue preparation. Golden, CO Fire Department responded quickly and began a complicated evacuation procedure.

After being stabilized at the accident site, Powers was lowered on a litter by the Golden Fire Department to the riverbed, hauled up to a waiting ambulance, then driven one mile down the canyon where he was transferred to a Flight for Life helicopter. He was flown to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver where he immediately underwent a successful surgery to repair a punctured diaphragm and address a collapsed lung. Powers sustained multiple injuries to his torso region in the fall: including a broken arm, fractured ribs and vertebras, a punctured diaphragm, a collapsed lung, and substantial internal bruising. Powers was not wearing a helmet, but it does not appear that he suffered any head injury.

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