A Free-Solo Climber Died in Rocky Mountain National Park
The 26-year-old woman fell nearly 500 feet from Blitzen Ridge
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On Sunday, July 9, a Boulder, Colorado, woman died after falling 500 feet while free soloing Blitzen Ridge, a classic 5.4 ridge on Ypsilon Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. The woman was on one of the Four Aces—steep mini-peaks along the ridge—which are considered the route’s crux.
While authorities have not yet released her name, friends and family have begun writing messages of condolence on social media to Bailee Mulholland, a longtime climber and 2020 graduate of CU Boulder. A few weeks ago, Mulholland climbed her first 5.13a, If and Only If, at the Dungeon in Staunton. She was also an avid trail runner and a yoga instructor.
Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members were contacted by Mulholland’s climbing partner, a 27-year-old man who is also from Boulder. The rangers evacuated him Sunday night with the help of the Colorado Air National Guard helicopter; he was uninjured.
Yesterday, Mulholland’s body was transported to the Larimer County Coroner and Medical Examiner’s Office. Climbing will publish an obituary in the coming weeks.