Pet Cat (and Climbers) Rescued on Colorado Climb

When Boulder, Colo. rescuers got a call — or a meow — for help from the Flatirons, they sprang into action.

The call came from the First Flatiron, an iconic climbing location and frequent rescue site. On the other end of the line: Texas climber Austin Wolff and a local partner, plus Wolff’s tabby cat, Link.

The Denver Post confirmed Wolff, Link, and Susan Katz got benighted on their planned climb after struggling to build anchors. The Rocky Mountain Rescue Group escorted the climbers and their feline companion to safety. Rescuers found the team unharmed but cold — except for one member.

“I wish other people could see her up there,” Wolff told the Post, referring to Link. “She was snoring. She took a nap and was snoring. While we were all teeth-chattering, she was hanging out, sleeping. She was 100% calm. She was probably calmer than all of us.”

Experienced adventurer

The pet feline’s calm could be due to her adventure experience. Wolff adopted Link after reading Adventure Cats: Living Nine Lives To The Fullest. Found by a friend at a Texas construction site, Link now rides harnessed into a backpack on climbs with Wolff. When it’s safe, Wolff lets her explore crags on her own.

It may be unusual, but the arrangement is not unprecedented. Old heads might recall the exploits of Whisper, the world’s first BASE-jumping dog. And this week’s Adventure Links included the story of a cat that guides hikers on the Appalachian Trail.

Regardless, Wolff and Katz caught some accusations of climbing irresponsibly. They’re far from the first group to require a rescue in the Flatirons, where spectacular views and low-angle climbing can draw unprepared explorers. Rocky Mountain Rescue Group spokesperson Angela Tomczik emphasized her organization’s commitment to adventure safety.

“We were happy to assist the climbers and their cat off the cliff and to the ground safely,” Tomczik wrote. “We want everyone to know we are available 24/7 and never charge for rescue. Rocky Mountain Rescue Group is an all-volunteer team and is always happy to help our community.”

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.