California, Yosemite National Park—Goodrich Pinnacle. On 20 June Ernest Milburn (18) and John Gibbins (20) had completed ascent of Goodrich Pinnacle (Glacier Point Apron) and were rappelling down route. One inch tubular nylon web rappel anchor sling broke while Milburn was on a second rappel from top. Anchor sling had been in place for at least one year and possibly two. Milburn’s body lodged on a ledge about 90 feet from base of wall (top of first lead). Gibbins was left stranded on rappel ledge about 700 feet up and was rescued by two climbers.
Source: Steve Hickman, Yosemite N.P.
Analysis: Party should have replaced anchor sling if it appeared worn or weathered. There are numerous semi-permanent rappel anchors on Valley climbs and sling material weathers fast due to heat and sunshine encountered there.