American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Snakes – New York, Shawangunks

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

FALL ON ROCKS, SNAKES—New York, Shawangunks. A thirty-five- year-old climber was on Wrist—a 5.6 route—when he looked down and saw a copperhead snake at his feet. When he moved up, he saw another at his waist. He stepped back into space, falling 60 feet after pulling three pieces of protection. This was on July 18. He suffered a concussion and a broken shoulder. (Source: Brad Snyder.)

Analysis: While common in North Carolina and the Southwest, this is not a usual occurrence in the Northeast. Climbers take note: a copperhead or diamondback snake bite is apt to be less damaging than a 60-foot fall! (Source: J. Williamson.)

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