GOLDEN - After hours of careful maneuvering, a 15-year-old climber who fell 100 feet into an old mine shaft was rescued on Thursday afternoon.
Just after 10:20 a.m., rescue crews were called to a hogback toward the north end of Rooney Road in Golden after the teen’s rope snapped while climbing.
Karlyn Tilley with the Golden Fire Department says the climber had a friend with him at the time who was able to guide rescuers to his location.
Crews from over a half-dozen agencies were called in to help with the technical rope rescue that included an elaborate pulley and rope system.
By 1 p.m., two rescuers made it down into the mine shaft and talked with the climber – who they believe has some sort of leg injury.
About an hour later, crews were able to put the teen on a stretcher and remove him from the mine shaft.
West Metro Fire Rescue says loose rock and dirt along the sides of the mineshaft complicated the rescue mission. They had to take extra precaution so that debris didn’t cause problems to the rescuers and climber below.
The land -- which is near Apex Park -- is owned by Jefferson County Open Space, but is closed to the public.
Katie Matthews with Jefferson County Open Space says they typically cover and cordon off known mine shafts. This one, however, wasn't known and it will now be blocked accordingly in the future.
Eric Krause, a ranger who was at the scene, says the 15-year-old could face charges because he was in a closed area doing what's considered a hazardous activity.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, however, will likely make the final decision about filing criminal charges.
Fire spokesman says call came in around 10:20. A group of teens was trying to get down into the hole using ropes (not climbing ropes). Rope snapped and the 15-year-old fell 300 feet at most. Friend called 911. #9news pic.twitter.com/f0nTBao7OE— Steve Staeger (@SteveStaeger) December 7, 2017
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