How Expert Climber Molly Berkenhoff Was Rescued After Boulder Canyon Fall
Rescue personnel transporting injured climber Molly Berkenhoff late last night. Additional photos below.
Photo by Deputy Neal McQuarie courtesy of Boulder County Sheriff's Office
Last night, June 21, Molly Berkenhoff, an expert climber living in Arvada, was rescued following a Boulder Canyon fall that resulted in possible lower spinal fractures, among other injuries.
As is clear from photos on Berkenhoff's Facebook page, she's no climbing novice. Here's an October 2016 shot captioned "Bouldering in Boulder":
Molly Bernkenhoff seen "bouldering in Boulder."
And this image shows her taking an obviously challenging route:
Molly Berkenhoff traversing a challenging route.
The most recent incident is summarized by Sergeant Clay Leak of the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.
At approximately 7:37 p.m., the Boulder County Communications Center received a 911 about an injured rock climber.
The address, 32000 Boulder Canyon Drive, corresponds to an area near Boulder Falls.
According to the BCSO's Leak, Berkenhoff was climbing the "old-school" route of the Bell Buttress with two others and using a belay — a device used to manage rope slack and tension — when two pieces of rock protection pulled out.
Berkenhoff fell approximately 20 to 25 feet, breaking her ankle and potentially suffering the aforementioned spinal fractures.
Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Nederland Fire and AMR Ambulance assisted the BCSO with the rescue that followed; a helicopter was also on call but wasn't needed. And it's a good thing the crew was so large: The sheriff's office notes that the climbing area was on the opposite side of the creek from the road, so personnel had to set up a Tyrolean traverse, as seen in the photo at the top of this post, to transport her across the creek in a litter.
Molly Berkenhoff's current Facebook profile pic.
Getting Berkenhoff help took hours. The incident finally closed at 10:12 p.m.
Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants
TicketsMon., Sep. 4, 1:10pm
Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres
TicketsFri., Sep. 15, 6:40pm
Colorado Rockies vs. Miami Marlins
TicketsMon., Sep. 25, 6:40pm
Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
TicketsFri., Sep. 29, 6:10pm
Denver Outlaws / Major League Lacrosse All Star Game
TicketsSat., Dec. 29, 6:00pm
As for Berkenhoff, she was transported to Boulder Community Hospital. At this writing, there's been no update on her condition.
By the way, the BCSO points out that the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group is "an all-volunteer, non-profit organization serving the Boulder County area, and summer is their busiest time of year." Anyone interested in donating or volunteering is encouraged to visit RockyMountainRescue.org.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Denver, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.