American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

California, Yosemite (1)

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1957

California, Yosemite (1)—On April 2, 1955 a two-man team of George Sessions (22) and Richard Calderward attempted Rixon’s Pinnacle by an extremely difficult 6th class route that had been climbed once previously by another team. They were fully and properly equipped and possessed adequate skill and experience for the climb. At a questionable point a round expansion bolt was placed and Sessions then proceeded placing pitons beyond. Each piton was tested but because they were driven behind an overhanging flake, tests could not be conclusive. The second piton pulled out under the climber’s weight as he stepped into the sling. He fell vertically 10 feet, then pulled out first piton (first after bolt) and swung horizontally 20 feet across face. He was held by the bolt and belayer. Only injuries were scratched arms, legs and face. Another attempt was made but soon abandoned when it became apparent that sound pitons could not be placed.

Source: William Siri.

Analysis: (William Siri) Pitons pulled out. First pulled out under weight of climber, second pulled out under impact of fall. Climber saved by sound expansion bolt and belay.

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