American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

California, Mt. Shasta

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

California, Mt. Shasta. On 9 October George Smith (28) and Henry Dodge (27) were descending the North Wintun Glacier on the east side of the summit of Mt. Shasta with Smith leading the descent. The party was unroped, but equipped with ice axes and crampons. Dodge saw Smith trip and start to slide on an approximate 32° slope. Smith was inexperienced and failed to use his axe to arrest the fall. He fell approximately 4,000 feet into a heavily sun-capped run out on the lower glacier.

Source: Fletcher E. Hoyt.

Analysis: A rope should have been used in view of the obvious exposure of the long snow slope and the inexperience of Smith. An efficient ice axe arrest would have stopped the fall.

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