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Failure to Follow Route and Inadequate Protection—Wyoming, The Tetons, Disappointment Peak

FAILURE TO FOLLOW ROUTE AND INADEQUATE PROTECTION—Wyoming, The Tetons, Disappointment Peak. David Sheridan (28) and Chancey Bittner attempted a roped technical climb of Irene’s Arete on the South Side of Disappointment Peak on August 25. Sheridan slipped from a foothold and fell about 80 feet while leading the first roped pitch. Sheridan was off route and had only one nut anchor in at a point too low to absorb shock before he hit a sloping area at the base of the climb. Sheridan’s partner, Bittner, summoned help from nearby climbers. Rescue was effected by Grand Teton National Park Rescue Team. Evacuation was completed by helicopter, to Lupine Meadows and St. John’s Hospital arriving at 6:30 p.m. His injuries were diagnosed as multiple abrasions and contusions for which he was treated and released. (Source: Tom Kimbrough, Grand Teton National Park)

Analysis: Sheridan was off route and had not placed adequate protection. His runout was nearly equal to his height above the belay ledge. Had he landed in any area other than where he did, he would have been seriously injured. (Source: Pete Hart, Grand Teton National Park)