American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Arizona, West Fork, Oak Creek Canyon (Sedona)

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1965

Arizona, West Fork, Oak Creek Canyon (Sedona). On 15 February Dick Lee (22) was rappelling down an 80-90-foot cliff on a fast free rappel. He had completed two jumps and as he was pushing off into the third the rope (¾ inch manila and ? inch nylon belay) broke just past the brake bar. Lee fell 35 feet onto a bed of rocks on his right side, bounced 4 feet up, flipped, and landed on his left side. He remained on his back for 2 hours before a doctor arrived with morphine. The temperature was approximately 25-28°F. He did not lose consciousness until the start of the second operation 5 hours later. He suffered extreme physical shock, no nausea. Frank Barker applied pressure to his pelvis and legs for 2 hours until the arrival of a doctor. It took 15-20 men one and a half to two hours to descend to an ambulance with Lee on a stretcher.

Source: Richard R. Lee.

Analysis: Complete and accurate check of equipment before use.

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