American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

California, Mt. Shasta

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1972

California, Mt. Shasta. On 18 December Vem Clevenger (16) and Bill Dougherty (16) both Eagle Scouts set out to climb Mt. Shasta. In two days they had reached 13,200 ft. But the next morning the 21st they were in a white-out so they started down the mountain with poor visibility. Temperature was 20 below zero F. and there were hip-deep snow drifts which slowed them down to one-half a mile per day. They reached 7,000-foot level at timberline but were forced to sit out the storm for five days. They had rationed their food so that a small amount was still available for the first day of their outward journey. When the storm cleared they lightened their packs and made their own way out by 30 December. They were taken to hospital where they were pronounced to be in satisfactory condition although suffering from frostbite, exposure and hunger.

Source: Newspaper report.

Analysis: These individuals showed good sense in retreating. Their rationing of their food and general handling of the situation demonstrates sound common sense and adjusting their actions to their needs.

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