American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

California, Kings Canyon National Park, Paradise Valley

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1959

California, Kings Canyon National Park, Paradise Valley—On August 21, Charles Gibbons (16) of Hollywood, California, climbing in hazardous terrain with two companions, became stranded on a ledge approximately 1,000 feet above the floor of Paradise Valley on the South fork of the Kings River. His companions made their way to safety and summoned assistance. A six-man rescue team of the National Park Service, in three and one-half hours of climbing, brought Gibbons from the ledge and back to the valley floor. No injuries resulted.

Source: Louis W. Hallock, Chief Park Ranger.

Analysis: Gibbons, either from fright or good judgement, as the case may be, undoubtedly chose the safer course by remaining in position on the ledge. In reviewing the climb, it appears to be quite amazing that his two companions came down safely. All three were inexperienced, totally unequipped and untrained for climbing in such terrain, but had been stimulated by recent viewing of short features on television. Incidents of this type illustrate the need for public education and continual dispersion of information relative to mountaineering hazards.

This ANAM article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.