American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1966

Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park. On 24 June John Freitag (25), Mike Petrilak, Steffie Petrilak, and Joan Oosterwyk were descending Cloudveil Dome by the east ridge following a successful ascent by the same route. It was early afternoon and the weather, which had been threatening all day, began to deteriorate, with mists and a slight drizzle. Though exposed, the climbing was quite easy so the party was descending unroped. Freitag, leading, came to a short face with a ledge below it. He began to lower himself down a slab, using the top for handholds. He had tested the block and it seemed to be secure. As the rock was damp, he did not trust the small footholds on the slab and supported most of his weight by his arms. When his full weight was committed to the slab, Freitag felt it loosen and come out. He fell about four feet and landed on the ledge; the block fell on top of his leg, but caused no more than a few scratches. He was not injured and was able to finish the climb with no difficulty and to take part in other climbs immediately.

Source: Rubin and Freitag.

Analysis: (Rubin and Freitag) While the accident turned out to be

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