AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Accidents in North American Mountaineering, Twenty-Eighth Annual Report of the Safety Committee of the American Alpine Club

This is the twenty-eighth Annual Report of the Safety Committee of the American Alpine Club and the fifteenth in conjunction with the Alpine Club of Canada. After several years of able leadership under Dr. Benjamin G. Ferris, Jr., this report has undergone a transitional phase in its editorialship. To some extent, this has resulted in the appearance of fewer accident statistics when in likelihood there have been more accidents in the burgeoning climbing world. New momentum has gathered, and in 1975 this promises to result in 1) a more complete statistical analysis, and 2) some revisions in the current reporting of narratives. The attempt will be to make the reporting of accidents more desirable and easier, and to select the narratives so as to highlight the saliant preventable categories.

The narratives in this report are fewer in number, and have been selected on the basis of exemplifying classic categories of accident cause, with an eye to geographic and terrain diversity. The many fine narratives which were submitted are hereby acknowledged and on file at the AAC office.

This year many reports came from mountain rescue groups in the form of their annual summary, which allowed easy inclusion (with some omission of data) into the statistical section. Not included for lack of more information were the 20 rescues and two deaths experienced at Port Reyes National Seashore, almost all of which occurred to neophytes. Hopefully, the new data collection system being set up will facilitate such reporting in the future.

Thanks goes to the following for their faithful reporting: Arizona Mountaineering Rescue Team, China Lake Mountain Rescue Group, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group Inc., Grand Teton National Park Headquarters, Peter Thompson, Bob Box, William May, George Hamilton, Howard Stansbury, Dick Pooley and Bradley Snyder. Special thanks to James Prior for collating the Alaska, Washington and Canada material.

John E. Williamson, Editor


Lynn K. Buchanan, Dennis K. Burge, Benjamin G. Ferris Jr., William G. May, Richard R. Polley, James Prior, Peter L. Renz, Bradley J. Snyder, Peter Thompson, John E. Williamson.


Helen Butling, Dick Culbert, D. G. Linke, R. D. Lyon, Helmut F. Microys.


George R. Sainsbury