On Sunday, October 29, at approximately 11 a.m. Megan Kies, 31, from Lafayette, Colorado, was climbing the Martha's Couloir route on Mount Lady Washington in Rocky Mountain National Park, when she was struck by a rock that was dislodged above her. Climbers in the area notified park staff via cell phone of the incident. She received multiple life threatening injuries.
Kies’ climbing partner and two additional climbers in the area provided aid to Kies. She was roped in when the incident happened and they were able to lower her. An additional bystander provided updated information on her condition and location to park staff.
Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members arrived on scene at 2 p.m. and provided Advanced Life Support care and placed Kies in a litter. With the assistance of bystanders, rescuers lowered her approximately 240 feet to the base of the climb. From there, they lowered her an additional 100 feet to a location on the scree slope above Chasm Lake.
Due to her location and severity of injuries, park rangers requested assistance from a Colorado National Guard helicopter to extricate her via a hoist operation, using a winch operated cable. This occurred at 5:20 p.m. A pre-staged Flight for Life air ambulance was landed in Chasm Meadow and received the patient from the National Guard helicopter. She was then flown from Chasm Meadow to St. Anthony's in Denver in critical condition. Rocky Mountain Rescue also assisted Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team with this incident.
Martha's Couloir is a popular mixed rock, snow and ice climb in the Chasm Cirque.