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Fatal Free Solo Accident in Eldorado Canyon

A 31-year-old apparent free soloist took a fatal fall last Wednesday.

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A climber was found dead following a fall in Eldorado Canyon last week. According to Carrie Haverfield at the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), a group of four climbers at Rincon Rock called 911 at approximately 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6 after discovering the fallen climber, 31-year-old Scott Dewey of Golden, who was alone. Dewey was unconscious, not breathing, and had no pulse when the other climbers found him. The BSCO reported that there was no evidence of foul play. 

Scott Dewy. (Photo: Sara Dewey Collection)

“There weren’t any ropes, harnesses, or protection found at the scene,” Haverfield told Gym Climber over the phone the following day, “so we assume [Dewey] was free soloing. All he had with him was a chalk bag and climbing shoes.” She added that rescuers found no obvious evidence of rockfall or broken holds, though noted that the rescue was performed at night, “so it was quite dark and the scene hasn’t yet been surveyed extensively.” 

The four climbers who discovered the body didn’t see or hear a fall, Haverfield added. They merely stumbled across the scene, but the accident was clearly recent. “He definitely hadn’t been out there for days or anything,” she said, “but the time of death is pending a coroner’s report.” Rocky Mountain Rescue Group carried out a recovery of Dewey’s body, which took approximately three hours. 

Dewey with his niece, Kaylynn Cummings. (Photo Sara Dewey Collection)
(Photo: Sara Dewey Collection)

Dewey’s sister, Sara, wrote Gym Climber: “Scott was the most free spirited, easy going, adventurous, and nicest guy you’d ever meet. To quote His dear friend and climbing partner Erin Ann, ‘Scott was a strong climber and a great friend to many. His enthusiasm for climbing was infectious and he was supportive of others whether they were brand new to the sport, or attempting a difficult objective. He was passionate about climbing in Eldorado Canyon. He was very aware of the risks of free soloing.’ My only comfort in his passing is knowing that he died doing what he loved. He was a great soul and will be missed by everyone whose path he crossed. Rest easy ‘Scotty Hotty.’ I love you.

Dewey was from Salina, Oklahoma, and had been attending the Metropolitan State University of Denver since January 2019, studying applied geology.

Sadly, Eldorado was the scene of another fatal accident not long ago, when a belay anchor ripped on Wind Tower, causing two roped climbers to fall over 100 feet. The belayer passed away, the leader was seriously injured. Another free soloist passed away after a fall in Eldo in 2019, as well.