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New York, Pocomoonshine Slab

New York, Pocomoonshine Slab—On July 6 Hugh Tanton (26) a member of an experienced party of four British and two Canadian climbers set out to do a difficult climb (Pocomoonshine Slab) just off the highway about 20 miles south of Plattsburg. They did an easy climb first to warm up. As they were approaching the foot of the slab over some very steep but tree-covered ground, Tanton slipped on some pine needles in a stretch between two trees and fell about fifty feet down a small cliff, hitting his head a glancing blow on a stretch of rock in the process. His friends carried him down to the road, quickly summoned an ambulance from Plattsburg, and in a matter of a few hours he was in a hospital, where he was found to have a fractured skull in addition to various other less serious injuries. He remained alternately delirious or unconscious for the next four days, but has since recovered completely.

Source: Hugh Tanton, John Humphreys.

Analysis: A careless slip, illustrating that even an experienced climber is not immune, and that speedy rescue operations can be of crucial importance. Had the accident occurred in slightly more inaccessible terrain, its consequences might have been fatal.