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California, Mt. Shasta

California, Mt. Shasta—On December 28, 1956 Emily Hatfield (21), Don Monks (26), Steve Brenner (22) and Gordon Brenner (19) climbed Mt. Shasta. The weather was clear. All climbing was on snow and ice. The party was fully equipped for the climb (crampons, ice axes, rope, food, etc.); they did not, however, use the rope. The party reached summit of Shasta at 2:30 p.m. and shortly after started the descent. At the head of a long, moderately steep couloir Emily Hatfield tripped, probably over her crampons, and slid approximately 1,200 vertical feet until finally stopped by rocks. The rest of the party reached her in 20 minutes. Hatfield suffered abrasions and lacerations and perhaps mild shock. The party was joined by two other climbers also descending the mountain. Two members of the party descended to Sierra Club hut for assistance while others remained with the injured girl. Rescue proceeded efficiently with aid of forest service rescue team and Hatfield was admitted to the hospital eight hours after her fall, and released from the hospital five days later.

Source: William Siri.

Analysis: (W. Siri). Probably insufficient experience on ice and snow combined with fatigue.

The American Alpine Club Safety Committee

Benjamin G. Ferris, Jr

Weston, Massachusetts, Chairman

John S. Humphreys

Cambridge, Massachusetts

William L. Putnam 

Springfield, Massachusetts

Francis L. Cary

New York, New York

Hans Kraus

New York, New York

Arnold Wexler

Washington, D. C.

Guy M. Everett


John de LaMontagne

Golden, Colorado

Henry A. Waldrop

Camp Carson, Colorado

Harold F. Walton

Boulder, Colorado

Edward R. LaChapelle

Alta, Utah

Victor Josendal

Seattle, Washington

Russell McJury

Portland, Oregon

William Siri

Berkeley, California

David Harrah

Riverside, California

James Bonner

Pasadena, California