After an investigation the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office have ruled out mechanical failure in the death of 53-year-old Anissa Larson of Tucson after falling 200 feet from a Via Ferrata route in Telluride. CBS4 reports there were no hardware failures in the route’s infrastructure and no malfunction in Larson’s equipment.
Via Ferrata participants wear a climbing harness and attach themselves by carabiners to a permanent metal cable running along a route of rounded steel bars bolted to the cliff. One at a time, carabiners are unclipped and re-clipped to the cable as climbers work their way around the metal bars and progress through the route. Although Larson’s fall was not witnessed, it is assumed to be the result of an apparent “misstep” while she was unclipped from the system west of a section called the “Main Event.”
The city of Telluride highly recommends guided tours of the site but guides are not required for participants. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office confirmed that Larson and her friend were not on a guided tour.
“This is a tragic accident & unimaginable loss for this woman’s family. On behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, we offer our sincere condolences. The Via Ferrata is a hazardous climbing route that attracts more and more people each year. This incident is a horrible reminder of the dangers inherent to this climb.” –San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters
San Miguel County Sheriff: