American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Climbing Alone, Inexperience, California, Dragon Peak

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982


California, Dragon Peak

On August 19,1981, Bruce Dyer (24) went on a solo backpacking and fishing trip to the lake east of Dragon Peak. He was not known to be a climber but evidently found he had time to spare and decided to climb Dragon Peak (12,995 feet). The last several hundred feet of this peak is Class 3–4. From evidence found by the rescue team, he fell down the very steep east face from a point near the lower, south summit. He fell close to 1000 feet to his death. His body was found four days later. (Source: Dennis Burge, China Lake Mountain Rescue Group)


While not a climbing accident, this report again illustrates what can happen to hikers who get themselves into a climbing situation. A similar accident occurred the month before on Mount Williamson when a thirty-year-old hiker left his companions, in spite of their warnings, and had gone up a chute left of the correct route. He fell 200 feet to his death. The China Lake Mountain Rescue Group reported only two actual climbing accidents—one involving a climber who fell trying a difficult lead and the other involving a rock accidentally dislodged falling on the climber below. (Source: J. Williamson)

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