American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall While Descending—California, Yosemite Valley, North Dome Gully

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1977

FALL WHILE DESCENDING—California, Yosemite Valley, North Dome Gully. John Shiner (23) and two friends had successfully climbed the Arches Direct 5.7 Al, spent the night and tried to come down the standard descent

route of North Dome Gully. It was mixed rain and snow, cloudy and foggy. The victim was walking across very exposed decomposed granite area with tennis shoes on. Combination of shoes, wet, granite, fog, fatigue, haste and individual fell to death. Fall was approximately 400 feet. (Source: Charles Farabee, Jr., Yosemite National Park)

Analysis: Better shoes and less haste might have made a difference. Descending was a calculated risk due to fog, wetness, gravel and the amount of exposure encountered in this area. Even under favorable conditions, it requires care. (Source: Charles Farabee, Jr., Yosemite National Park.)

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