American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Washington: Northern Cascades, Mt. Pilchuck

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

Washington: Northern Cascades, Mt. Pilchuck. In August 1949 five high school boys from Renton were on a fishing trip to Lake 22, on the east shoulder of this peak. While they were traversing a steep snow field above the lake, the boys, all of whom were in tennis shoes, found the terrain too steep and, not knowing enough to turn around, took out their pocket knives to chiphand- and footholds. One of them, Jerry Irwin (16: weight, 180 lbs.), slipped and fell about 35 feet into a bergschrund, where he suffered head and back injuries and a fractured arm. His two companions hiked out to Verlot Ranger Station for help. The other two, one an Eagle Scout, gave Irwin first aid. The accident occurred about 3 P.M., and the rescue patrol was able to get him to the hospital at 2 A.M. the next morning.

Source of information: Wolf Bauer of the rescue patrol of three who were called by the U.S. Forest Service.

Analysis. Obviously lack of experience was the main reason for this accident.

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