News Release

Injured climber rescued off Great White Wall route at Black Canyon

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: September 12, 2023

MONTROSE, Colo. – At approximately 10:30 am on Monday September 11, 2023, National Park Service (NPS) law enforcement received a 911 call of a rock climber who had sustained a fall on the Great White Wall climbing route on the North Rim of Black Canyon. The Black Canyon Search and Rescue (SAR) team and the Western Colorado University SAR team joined to respond.

The SAR teams descended the arduous one-mile (1.6 km) Long Draw hiking route dropping 1,800 feet (548 m) into the canyon. The team then rock-climbed 300 feet (91 m) up to the unconscious patient’s location and lowered them to the canyon bottom. A Colorado Army National Guard helicopter flew the patient out from the bottom of the canyon at approximately 7:25 pm. The patient was transferred to a medical air ambulance in Montrose, Colorado and flown to Saint Mary’s hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado to address major trauma injuries.

The patient’s name is not being released to ensure their privacy and no further information is available.

Climbing at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is serious and requires training, preparation, and experience. It is not for beginners. Even the seasoned climber can face risk of injury or death on the steep walls. Climbers, and hikers, must prepare to face many hazards and self-rescue if required. There is little to no cell service or communication at the park and any trip must be approached with great caution and care.More information about Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, please visit   


About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve natural resources, local history, and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: September 12, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

102 Elk Creek
(GPS/physical address = 9800 Highway 347, Montrose, CO)

Gunnison, CO 81230



Contact Us