American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

California, Yosemite National Park

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1969

California, Yosemite National Park. On 18 May Spencer Conley (34), was leading a pitch on the East route of Monday Morning Slab. He states that he was out 100 feet on the rope with two pitons placed for protection. The last pin was a lost arrow horizontal. When Conley fell, he pulled the first pin (which he claims was properly placed) and the belayer could not catch him before he hit a ledge. He was off route and searching for the route when the accident occurred 20 feet from his last pin on a traverse.

Source: Russell Cahill, Yosemite National Park.

Analysis: It seems highly unlikely that the piton was properly placed if he pulled it after a fall from a traverse of 20 feet. Mr. Conley did not have sufficient protection and the last pin was poorly placed. If he would have known more about pin placement for protection, the injury could have been avoided.

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