American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Colorado, Snowmass Peak (14,077 ft.)

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1950

Colorado: Snowmass Peak (14,077 ft.). On 26 August 1949 Arthur Gallager (21), a Yale student from Colorado Springs, slid to his death in a rock slide. Eye-witnesses said that he slipped from a ledge while he was descending from a summit of the peak and fell 30 feet onto a steep area of loose boulders, etc., where his weight precipitated a rock slide. This in turn carried him 150 feet down the mountain. He was engulfed by the rolling, sliding blocks of rock and evidently crushed to death. A ten-man rescue party brought the body down two days later.

Source of information: newspaper reports and Colorado Mountain Club correspondence.

Analysis. Because details are inadequate, no full attempt at an analysis of this accident is made. We point out only that a loose rock avalanche can be even more dangerous than one of snow, because of the tremendous weight and the sharp edges of the large individual blocks.

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