Hurt at 12,500 feet, Boulder hiker kept the faith |

Hurt at 12,500 feet, Boulder hiker kept the faith

Claire Trageser
The Denver Post

Although Roy Knoedler was stuck at more than 12,500 feet on the side of a mountain with night setting in – and had a broken arm, a possible concussion and blood pouring into his eyes – the 64-year-old hiker said he never questioned that he would make it down alive.

“I was convinced that it wasn’t my time,” the Boulder resident said. “For some reason, I had faith that I was going make it out.”

Part of the reason for that faith might have been that Knoedler was not alone on Kit Carson Peak, a fourteener in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in southern Colorado.

The veteran climber was wearing mini-crampons but slipped on some unseen ice and slid 50 feet before hitting a rock about 4 p.m. July 7. Luckily for him, a group of six hikers below heard his cries for help.

Craig Reynolds, 52, and Jesse Houghtalen, 25, climbed up to Knoedler and found him crumpled against a boulder. Knoedler said he blacked out after hitting the rock but quickly regained consciousness.

“The rocks around him looked like someone had dumped a can of red paint on them,” Reynolds said. “If he moved around at all, he could have started tumbling down the mountain.”

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