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Washington, Guye Peak

Washington, Guye Peak. On September 23, Brian Martz, Janet McDonnell, Linda Cartwright (23), and Ed Goodman (31) set out to climb Guye Peak. All four members were experienced and graduates of Pete Schoening’s climbing class at the University of Washington. Martz and McDonnell were climbing on one rope, and Cartwright and Goodman on another. The two ropes had climbed well up the peak and were ascending a chimney on the west side of the peak. The Martz rope had chosen an easy route up the chimney and was above the other rope and around a rock outcropping from them, so out of visual contact. Goodman and partner chose a more difficult route up the chimney, and apparently Cartwright was leading. The Martz rope reported hearing the sound of crumbling rock, followed seconds later by Goodman’s cry of, “No, no, no.”

No sound was heard from Mrs. Cartwright. The Martz rope descended and found the bodies of the two other climbers some 300 ft. below, badly mangled and dead. Martz and McDonnell then set out for the summit to summon aid.

Source: Ted Mueller.

Analysis: Rescue parties found that Goodman had been wearing a hard hat, which had been knocked off, but was undamaged. The rope joining him and Cartwright also contained a piton, carabiner, and sling, so apparently some belay using a piton had been used. No one could recall if the piton was used as a running belay or safety belay, so no conclusion could be drawn on this point. Mrs. Cartwright was known as a daring, though competent climber, i.e. one who was careful, but knew no fear. The coroner stated that Goodman had one blow on his skull that could possibly indicate he was hit on the head by a rock prior to falling—which may be a reason for his failure to be able to belay Cartwright’s fall. No indication was seen of the length of lead Cartwright had on the rope.