American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Washington, Mt. Baker

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

Washington, Mt. Baker—During the weekend of July 22-24th there was a college outing on Mt. Baker. During the descent of the 29-man party on the west side of the mountain, they came to the last steep snow slope on the snout of the glacier. The leader had examined the area on the ascent and located a couple of small crevasses. On the descent he guided the party to an area where they would miss the crevasses during their glissade. One person, Donald Wallace (22), either ignored or misunderstood the leader’s directions and glissaded in the wrong area and fell into one of them. He suffered a broken pelvis and a wrenched back. Fortunately, there was a party of Mazamas who had preceded the college party who were acquainted with rescue techniques and were able to effect the rescue.

Source: C. A. Fisher, Bellingham, Washington; newspaper clippings.

Analysis: The word of the leader should be law. If the climber had understood and obeyed the instructions he would not have been hurt.

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