Local

A climber fell in the Rockies. Then a lost tourist from the Charlotte area appeared.

Rescuers remove a climber who fell Sunday near Boulder, Colo.
Rescuers remove a climber who fell Sunday near Boulder, Colo.

A tourist from North Carolina helped save a fallen rock climber Sunday in Colorado.

A 30-year-old resident of Boulder County, Colo., was in the Tornnere Tower climbing area when he fell 50 feet in Boulder Canyon, the sheriff’s office reported.

The experienced climber’s fall was broken by a tree, the office said, but he injured his right shoulder.

The area doesn’t have cell reception, so the man’s climbing partners began shouting for help, Denver television station KDVR reported.

“We were kind of just driving through and somebody yelled 911,” N.C. tourist Bailey Parton, who had arrived in Colorado the previous day for vacation, told the station. “We were supposed to be going to Red Rocks Amphitheatre and ended up here somehow.”

parton
Bailey Parton A screenshot of Bailey Parton’s Facebook page

Parton is from Charlotte but now lives in Asheville, where she’s a medical assistant, according to her Facebook page. She’s also a former emergency medical technician at the Buncombe County Rescue Squad.

Parton and the other climbers were able to rig a high-ropes system, KDVR reported. She borrowed a harness from another climber and pulled herself across Boulder Creek while dangling about 10 feet above the water.

She then climbed another 100 to 200 feet to reach the climber. She held the man’s head and upper body steady, to protect his spine from damage, for an hour until rescuers arrived.

“I’m tired. My arms hurt,” Parton told the TV station. “It was really tough but it’s good. That’s what we train for.”

Rescue teams performed a technical rescue to get the man safely down the mountain and back across the creek. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

“We got lost for a reason. I’m glad we were here,” Parton said. “It was just right place, right time.”

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender

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