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Rappel Failure, Inadequate Protection—Missouri, Mark Twain South County Bank

RAPPEL FAILURE, INADEQUATE PROTECTION—Missouri, Mark Twain South County Bank. Evelyn F. Mooers (54) fell 40 feet to her death during a rappelling exercise. A group of ten bank officials and friends were present. Police said she had attached her climbing rope to a drain pipe grating on the roof of the three story building. The grating gave way. (Source: Boston Globe, April 30, 1976)

Analysis: Climbing has become a national sport. Many television advertisements show climbers in a variety of thrilling situations. Rappelling has often been used as a “demonstration” exercise to show the general public an aspect of the climbing world. When attempting to use buildings for such purposes, one must attend to the same safety precautions as if in the mountains. The Night Climbers of Cambridge provides good advice on techniques. (Source: J. Williamson)