Fall on Rock, Placed No Protection, California, Yosemite Valley

Publication Year: 1979.


California, Yosemite Valley

On May 13 at 9:30 a.m., Darich Rapitrich (26) was attempting to climb the first pitch of the Quicksilver Route located on the North Face of Middle Citadel, 100 yards west of the North Buttress. Rapitrich was leading the first pitch of Quicksilver route. As she neared the top of the first pitch, it became very difficult to place proper protection; therefore no protection had been placed for approximately 70 feet. Rapitrich and her partner talked about coming back down, but decided to continue. Rapitrich was attempting the last move before the belay point. Hand and footholds were difficult and the victim may have moved a few feet off the route, onto the face. Rapitrich lost the handholds and fell approximately 130 feet, which resulted in a broken wrist and severe strains of both knees. She was not wearing a hard hat, but sustained no head injuries. (Source: Bryan Swift, Yosemite National Park)


Rapitrich is an experienced climber who chose not to protect the last 75 feet. Protection is difficult on the climb but not impossible and, if placed correctly, would have decreased the length of the fall. (Source: Tim J. Setnicka, Yosemite National Park)