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Woman, 26, dies after 500-foot fall while free-solo climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park

The woman was free-solo climbing with a male climbing partner when she fell.
Rocky Mountain National Park
The woman fell 500 feet on Four Aces of Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Mountain located in Rocky Mountain National Park.Getty Images / iStockphoto

A 26-year-old woman fell to her death during a free-solo climb in Rocky Mountain National Park, according to the National Park Service.

A news release from the agency detailed the woman’s fatal 500-foot on July 9, noting that she had been climbing Four Aces of Blitzen Ridge on Ypsilon Mountain. The ridge climb is located on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The victim, from Boulder, Colorado, was with a 27-year-old male climbing partner who alerted park rangers about her fall by cell phone. Search and rescue team members reached the climbing partner on July 10, the release said.

“Because of his location, the park requested assistance from a Colorado Air National Guard helicopter from Buckley Air Force Base to extricate the male climbing partner via a hoist operation, using a winch-operated cable,” it stated.

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members conducted a helicopter long-line recovery of the fallen free-solo climber’s body on July 10. She was eventually transferred to the Larimer County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s Office, which will determine her cause of death. The victim’s name is being withheld until next of kin are notified.

Larimer County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to respond to’s request for more information.

Free-solo climbing is a type of rock climbing that sees climbers ascend rock formations without the assistance of rope or protective equipment. Interest in the rock climbing method has experienced a rise in interest and attention due in part to documentaries like the 2018 movie “Free Solo” and “The Alpinist” from 2021.

On July 2, a 25-year-old man died after he fell near a waterfall in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park and was pulled underwater.