climber falls at Garden of the Gods

A climber was hospitalized after falling 40 to 50 feet from the Three Graces rock formation in Garden of the Gods Thursday, August 16, 2018. (Courtesy of CSPD via Twitter)

A climber was hospitalized Thursday after falling 40 to 50 feet from the Three Graces rock formation in Garden of the Gods, said Colorado Springs Fire Capt. Brian Vaughan.

The man, who was not using climbing gear and did not have a permit, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, Vaughan said.

All climbers in city parks must register for a free annual permit, climb in groups of two or more and use proper equipment, the city's website says. Technical climbing is allowed only in Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Cheyenne Canyon and Ute Valley Park.

Rock scrambling — climbing on a rock formation more than 10 feet above its base without using proper equipment — is prohibited.

Each year, more than 7,500 technical climbers register for permits, the city's website says. Failing to follow the rules while climbing in city parks can result in up to a $500 fine or loss of climbing privileges for a year, or both.

Ellie is a general assignment reporter. She's a proud Midwesterner, stationery hoarder and Earl Grey tea enthusiast. After interning at The Gazette in 2015, she joined the newspaper's staff in 2016.

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