American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Vermont, Norwich

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1955

Vermont, Norwich—On October 12, 1954, J. B. Corbett (18) was climbing with two members of the Dartmouth Mountaineering club. They were traversing wet rock about 8 feet above the ground on a practice climb. They were unroped. Corbett slipped and in landing on the ground twisted his knee.

Source: J. B. Corbett, Dartmouth Mountaineering Club.

Analysis: The hazardous nature of wet rock is shown—there was no comment as to the type of footgear. Whether rope or felt shoes would have helped is not known. Whether a rope from above would have helped is difficult to assess. At this point it should be emphasized that the use of a dynamic belay on a fall close to the ground as this one was, may be more dangerous than a snubbed belay since allowing the rope to play out slightly might be enough to cause the man to strike the ground. Such a situation is a contra-indication for the use of a dynamic belay.

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