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California, Yosemite National Park, Lower Yosemite Falls

California, Yosemite National Park, Lower Yosemite Falls. On August 23 Richard Parsons (21) and friends decided to go rock climbing. They scrambled up car size talus, to the base of the lower Yosemite Falls cliff. The party worked their way up along the talus at the base of the cliff until they were about 100 feet above the Lower Falls pool. They then found a narrow ledge running diagonally up and over the pool. All the climbers but Parsons became scared and did not go far on the ledge and came back to the talus. Parsons continued diagonally up and when he was out on the ledge about 50 feet he tried to come back down. At this point he was well over 100 feet above the talus. He was working his way back down the ledge when he slipped on a sloping water polished area. He turned and caught a small ledge slightly below the ledge, that he had been on, with his fingertips for a second, and then swung out and fell free, face first, for 75 feet. He lit on all fours, his stomach and face.

Huson drove up the falls trail with a pick-up to within 100 yards. From there Huson went up the talus to the injured person. It was determined that the victim was in deep shock and that he had fractures in at least three extremities and possibly head fractures. Huson returned to the pick-up and called for a doctor. Rescue gear and first aid supplies arrived. The victim was placed in a Stokes litter and carried down the talus during which time the doctor radioed to Park headquarters for plasma expanders. The victim arrived at the hospital at 12:10 and was declared dead at 12:30.

Source: David W. Huson.

Analysis: Parsons should not have been on this climb (near the Swed- lund route) without being roped up.