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Loss of Control, Voluntary Glissade – Washington, Mt. Shuksan

LOSS OF CONTROL, VOLUNTARY GLISSADE—Washington, Mt. Shuksan. On a climb with the Mountaineers, Walter Swan (age unknown) lacerated his right thigh with the pick of his ice axe. “Whinney’s slide was icy and Walt ‘lost it’ part way down.” Injury resulted in a slow, belayed descent and subsequently a forced bivouac midway down. (Source: Warren Thompson, trip leader of The Mountaineers.)

Analysis: Walt was the only person in the party with whom I was not able to predetermine his previous climbing experience and discuss the route. I attributed his accident to the general lack of confidence on steep snow which he displayed throughout the climb. (Source: Warren Thompson, trip leader for The Mountaineers.)