American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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California, Royal Arches, Yosemite

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1956

California, Royal Arches, Yosemite—On April 3, 1955 Donald Tocher (28) was a member of a four-man climbing party. All were experienced and able climbers who had climbed various routes on the Royal Arches previously. The party was roped and properly equipped. Tocher led the second pitch, a steep, shallow, granite chimney, which under nearly all

conditions is regarded as class 4 (no pitons needed). Twelve feet up the chimney which was wet, he lost his friction foot-hold and slid back to the bottom where his leg was broken by the impact. Rescue operations proceeded quickly and efficiently, aided by a second party of four climbers.

Source: William Siri.

Analysis: This accident demonstrated the value of a properly trained and equipped party which with the assistance of another party was able to evacuate the injured man without any additional assistance.

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