American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

California, Near Bishop, Unnamed 12,000 Foot Peak in Sierra Nevada

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

California, near Bishop, Unnamed 12,000 foot peak in Sierra Nevada— Whit Inman and his father were members of a group of 130 persons on a two-week pack trip in the High Sierra conducted by the Sierra Club in August. The boy was one of ten ascending an unnamed 12,000 foot peak in the High Sierra near Bishop, California under the leadership of William Pope, an experienced and responsible climber, prominent in the Stanford Alpine Club. The peak is classified in the “Climbers Guide” as one that requires due caution but no technical training. For reasons that are not altogether clear but apparently resulting from a complex series of circumstances, the Inman boy strayed briefly from the party and fell over a 150 foot cliff, and was killed instantly. Investigation of the accident revealed that the group leader, William Pope, was not at fault in his management of the party on the climb. The climbing party consisted of persons with a wide range in age and physical ability. This combined with a storm that overtook the party while descending the mountain are probably the underlying factors that started the train of events leading to the accident.

Source: William Siri.

Analysis: Inexperience of climber and circumstances beyond control of leader of group.

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