ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — A woman is in critical condition after being struck by a falling rock while climbing at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Megan Kies, 31, was climbing the Martha’s Couloir route on Mount Lady Washington at about 11 a.m. on Sunday, according to a statement released by park officials.
Kies was roughly 240 feet up when a rock was dislodged above her, officials said.
Park officials did not say how large the rock was but said Kies suffered multiple life-threatening injuries. Her climbing partner and other climbers tried to render medical aid and called for help.
Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members arrived on scene at about three hours later.
“With the assistance of bystanders, rescuers lowered her approximately 240 feet to the base of the climb,” park officials stated. “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, a Colorado National Guard helicopter was deployed to extricate Kies from the area. That happened at about 5: 20 p.m., officials said.
A Flight for Life air ambulance was waiting 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.
According to a GoFundMe page set up for Kies, she was wearing a helmet during the climb.
“While wearing a helmet she was hit in the head from falling rock,” the page states. “She has suffered an open skull fracture and some minor cervical spine fractures.”
On Thursday, Kies’ sister posted an update:
“She is stable and done with surgeries for the skull fracture and spine. Her ventilator was removed this morning as well and she is breathing and maintaining blood pressure on her own at this point.”
The page states that she is currently in the ICU but that her prognosis is good for recovery.