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January 13, 2010
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The 'Fang' ice formation collapses, injures climber

A 34-year-old man was airlifted to Denver Tuesday afternoon after an ice formation collapsed while he was climbing it.

When it forms, "The Fang" is a 130-foot column of ice that can be seen from Interstate 70. Some years it never fully forms.

Tony Angelis, who has been ice climbing in the Vail area at least 12 years, said that the Fang had just connected to the ground this weekend. He said at the time it was very slender - "a pencil" - and would need some more time to "fatten up" before it was climbable.

The man from Alma was about 100 feet up the formation when it fell down, taking him with it.

Rescue crews responded to the call at 1:14 p.m. It took crews about 45 minutes to get to the scene and another 45 to get the victim out. He was airlifted from Vail Valley Medical Center around 8 p.m.

Doug Krause, of the Eagle County Ambulance District, said the ice did not crush the man, but "he is hurt."

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The VailDaily Updated Jan 13, 2010 03:31PM Published Jan 13, 2010 03:30PM Copyright 2010 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.