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New Mexico, Sandia Mountains

New Mexico, Sandia Mountains. On 12 July Marvin Lowe (18), and three others and an instructor, all members of a group of Explorer Scouts were engaged in practice rock climbing. They had just received new equipment. Their advisor had had previous rock climbing experience in Utah. Lowe was descending on rappel, unbelayed, when the single anchor piton bent and was levered out. The victim fell approximately 40 feet, landed on his back, and bounced onto his head. The victim sustained a concussion, multiple abrasions, bruises and lacerations. Evacuation from the practice rock was done by the police and ambulance.

Source: Don Mattox.

Analysis: Poor piton placement; climber should have been belayed, and a hard hat should have been worn.