American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Piton and Nut Failure

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1978

FALL ON ROCK, PITON AND NUT FAILURE—Ontario, Bon Echo Park. Sean Lewis and Ted Rosen were making the second ascent of a 5.5 route on the Bon Echo cliff on September 18, in excellent weather. Rosen led from the first belay point about 80 feet above the water and was belayed by Lewis using a fixed piton, a copperhead nut, and a number 2 stopper that the first ascent party could not remove. About 5 feet above the belay ledge, one of Rosen’s handholds broke and he fell. He pulled out all the protection and both climbers fell to the lake. Lewis hit a ledge during his fall and broke a leg and Rosen had minor injuries. Both were wearing helmets and this saved them from serious injury. (Source: Ted Rosen, The Gazette, Alpine Club of Canada, November 1977.)

Analysis: Climbers need to watch that all belays are secure for the force and direction of any potential fall. (Source: Ted Rosen.)

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