American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

California, Yosemite National Park

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

California, Yosemite National Park. Roger Bunch (15) and a party of five led by his father were ski-touring to Tenaya Lake from Yosemite Valley via Clouds Rest. Roger’s boots were poorly waterproofed and were soaked through by the second day, and he didn’t have enough dry socks to keep his feet warm or dry. The boots were also too small and he had poor circulation. He became frostbitten on his toes and was taken back to the Valley by his party.

Source: Russell Cahill, Yosemite National Park.

Analysis: If Roger and his father had any knowledge of frostbite and what problems in equipment normally cause it, he would have been able to avoid his accident. Each problem is so typical of frostbitten feet; tight boots resulting in poor circulation, poorly waterproofed boots resulting in wet feet, not enough socks to keep feet dry and warm when his other socks became wet, inexperience in not knowing what was happening to his feet under the conditions.

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