American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Snow, Inadequate Equipment, Colorado, Maroon Bells

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

FALL ON SNOW, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT

Colorado, Maroon Bells

The body of a Carbondale minister, killed when he slid out of control down an icefield while mountain climbing, has been recovered by military helicopter from the 13,200-foot level of Maroon Mountain.

The Reverend Lynn Sparks (43) of the First United Methodist Churches of Carbondale and Basalt was climbing in the Maroon Bells near Aspen on October 17 with a friend, John Foreman of Salida, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department said.

Sparks attempted to slide down a steep snowfield, lost control and tumbled into a boulder field at the base of the snowfield, according to the Sheriff’s Department. (Source: Glenwood Post, October 19, 1978)

Analysis

This is one of three accidents of its kind in Colorado in 1978. Note the number of accidents in this category for the year. No ice axes and being unroped have been contributing causes to the fatalities and injuries. (Source: J. Williamson)

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