American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

New York, Shawangunks

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1967

New York, Shawangunks. On 12 November, Matt Hale and Kevin Bein (18) were doing a climb named “Sultana.” They had finished one pitch and Bein set off to lead the second, while Hale belayed on a ledge about 20 feet off the ground. Bein clipped through a piton above Hale’s head, then climbed up to the right. Here the route goes left, but Bein got off route and continued upwards. As the rock was steep, his hands got tired. When Bein was about 20 feet above his belayer, they gave out. He fell to the ledge where his feet struck it and flipped him over backwards. He did a somersault while falling another 15 feet and hit the cliff head first. Bleeding freely from the wound, he was lowered to the ground where other climbers heard him and came up to give first aid. Then Bein was taken to a hospital in New York City where he was treated for severe scalp lacerations and released.

Source: Bruce J. Gillers

Analysis: (Gillers) Since the rock was steep and he was a good distance above the only piton, Bein should have placed another, as he later admitted. A piton would have been advised there anyway, since, if he had climbed any higher, he might have hit the ground.

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