A Colorado Climber Has Died After Falling 30 Feet Near Andy’s Loop Trail
A late evening hike/climb turned into a fatal fall this past Wednesday (April 20th) as one person was reported to have fallen from a ledge near the Andy's Trail area off Little Park Road.
This moderate to difficult trail is part of an 18.5-mile loop with an elevation change of nearly 1000 feet along the way.
Fatal Fall Near Colorado's Andy's Loop Trail
News 11 reports that Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and Mesa County Search and Rescue responded to a call around 10:45 PM on Wednesday evening. Climbers in the area called in a report after witnessing the incident which happened near the trail. The exact spot of the fall has not been made public. The person who died was identified over the weekend as 19-year-old Jonathan Wernke. The cause of death was ruled as a result of multiple blunt-force injuries. His death has been ruled accidental.
Andy's Loop Trail is a Rated Moderate to Difficult
While the trails off Little Park Road are a fun and challenging playground, I'm surprised so many people go out and explore at night. This trail is a pretty big investment of time and energy and I can't imagine walking some of the ledges in the dark. Over the course of the trail, the elevation changes from 4600 feet to about 5600 feet. Emergency responders and the Grand Junction Fire Department were able to reach the fallen climber and began to assist but the injured person did not survive the fall.
Remember to Safety Check Equipment Before Climbing
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office reminds all hikers and climbers that it is essential to double-check equipment, rigging, and backup systems before starting your climb no matter what time of day it is.