American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Wyoming, Tetons

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1951

Wyoming: (3) Tetons. During the summer of 1950 two men in their early twenties climbed Teewinot by the normal route, east face. On the descent they reached the upper snow field at 7:00 P.M., and one of them, against the pleas of his companion, started a glissade. He could not stop himself, lost his ice-axe, and slid into the rocks at the bottom. With a punctured lung, broken rib, and concussion, he continued down the mountain by himself. His companion inched his way down and searched for him till dawn. He was found wandering in a dazed condition near the bottom.

Source of information: National Park rangers.

Analysis. Here is one of those cases in which one member of a climbing team took a careless attitude at the expense of his companion’s safety. The companion wanted to belay himself because he felt incompetent to negotiate the slope alone, particularly on the snow. This type of climber, who will take risks in spite of pleas to the contrary, and in taking the risk thus endangers the safety of other members of his party, must be considered as a menace to anyone else climbing with him. Such cases require special and careful indoctrination the moment such an attitude begins to be shown.

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