American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Snow, Climbing Unroped, Party Separated, California, Palisade Glacier

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1979

FALL ON SNOW, CLIMBING UNROPED, PARTY SEPARATED

California, Palisade Glacier

John Norton (16), Marta Rauch (16) and Greg Lewis (25) ascended the arete to the right of Clyde’s Couloir and were traversing left across the couloir to the snowfield on North Palisade. Rauch and Lewis crossed in one place, while Norton chose another route above them. Shortly before falling, he called to them that he was on a poor route. He fell 1000 feet to Palisade Glacier. (Source: Bob Pfiel, Inyo County Sheriff’s Posse)

Analysis

This is one of several accidents of its kind for 1978. There are characteristics which have not been much in evidence for many years: being unroped and off route on “apparent” third class terrain are the most salient. Hikers and climbers—at least ten—were in similar predicaments in five different states this year. (Source: J. Williamson)

This ANAM article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.