American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Nut Failure—California, Yosemite, Washington's Column

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

NUT FAILURE—California, Yosemite, Washington’s Column. Nick Donnelly (23), having led the first pitch, belayed Alistair Miller (21), who, when he reached Donnelly, clipped into a nut above the belay anchor while Donnelly belayed the third climber, Stuart Miller (20). The nut came out, and Miller fell 150 feet (the length of his rope) to the base of the climb and sustained serious injury. Evacuation was very difficult, and took longer because of initial improper identification of the victim’s location. (Source: R. Cooley, Yosemite National Park)

Analysis: Miller should either have made more sufficient anchor arrangements or else should have tied into Donnelly’s anchors. (Source: R. Colley, Yosemite National Park)

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