Washington—Denny Peak

Publication Year: 1953.

Washington—Denny Peak: On July 27, 1952 David Ward (23) a Boeing Airplane Co. tooling engineer was out alone pursuing his avocation of Geology on the west side of Denny Peak. Venturing out on a corniced snow finger to reach the rock of the bordering wall, he fell when the cornice broke away under him. His fall of about 15 feet resulted in a compound fracture of his left leg. Realizing his only chance of survival lay in what he might do himself he splinted his leg with a small double bitted, cruisers axe, then with his knife cut a staircase up the hard vertical snow to the top of the surface. Proceeding down the steep hard snow of the couloir he gathered wood, and when his travel was stopped by a knife ridge of the snow, he picked himself the most desirable place, proceeded to build himself a fire and called for help. His cries for help were heard by a pair who were passing by on the trail, some distance below. The more experienced of the two gave him all possible aid (he was Tom Upper, an optometrist from Tacoma) while his brother went out for help. The Forest Service lookout on Granite Mountain, seeing the fire, also requested action to investigate. The Mountain Rescue Team was called and accomplished the necessary rescue.

Source: Mountain Rescue Council and interrogation of Ward.

Comment: The hazards of injury to a lone man in the mountains are here emphasized. This holds regardless of experience. The resourcefulness and courage of Ward is a fine example of what can be done.