American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

California, Yosemite National Park, Lower Yosemite Falls

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1964

California, Yosemite National Park, Lower Yosemite Falls. On 31 August, Jack Berger, an expert gymnast, managed to climb a very difficult Chimney 80 feet up to the West (left) of Lower Yosemite Falls. The chimney led to open book and face climbing for 220 more feet to the top of lower Yosemite Falls. When Berger got out of the chimney and into the first few feet of face climbing he decided he could not go up any higher and he could not return. All this time he had climbed 3rd class as he had no equipment with him. At this point he decided to send his friends that were watching from below to go to Park Headquarters for help.

Source: David W. Huson.

Analysis: This is one of three such accidents that occurred in Yosemite. They are difficult to prevent and much education of the public will be necessary. This type of incident has resulted in a number of serious accidents since the individual starts to do a 3rd class climb that turns into a high 5.

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