American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Searches, Rescues, and Recoveries-1962, Arizona, Catalina Mountains, Alamo Canyon

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1963

Arizona, Catalina Mountains, Alamo Canyon. (See accident report.) Bryan Castner directed efforts to Finger Rock Canyon, where he indicated that the victim was located. Prior to entering the canyon, Castner discovered his error, and directed the teams to a rock ledge at the base of vertical cliffs in Alamo Canyon. A traverse, belay rope and diaper sling were used where the trail became too narrow for a safe carry of the victim. The otherwise straightforward operation was hampered by hangers-on, but was completed in approximately eight hours.

Source: Raymond R. Neal of the Southern Arizona Rescue Association.

Analysis: Difficulty in locating the scene of an accident is a frequent source of frustration to rescuers, and informants must be carefully and thoroughly interrogated. One fourth of the reports received by the committee this year indicated problems of this nature. It is essential that the informant give complete information when reporting an accident. The problem of hangers-on is also common in operations that are near roads or easily accessible to the public, and MRSCO reported similar problems in 1962 in the Pepper Mountain airplane crash. Usually the rescue unit can request to have the area cleared by the agency responsible

for the operation, and such a request should always be made lest curious bystanders endanger themselves or others.

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