American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Loss of Control, Voluntary Glissade, Faulty Use of Crampons, Washington, Mount Rainier

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


Washington, Mount Rainier

On May 31, 1981, John Sabella (33) caught a crampon point and lost control while attempting a sitting glissade during a descent from the Emmons Glacier at the 10,500-foot level.

Sabella injured his right knee and ankle in the fall. The injuries sustained were diagnosed at the scene by an orthopedic surgeon as probable ligament damage to the knee and a possible fractured right ankle. The situation was reported to the White River Ranger Station by Jim Springer, Camp Schurman Climbing Ranger, at 4:15 p.m.

On June 1, Springer led the evacuation effort down the Inter Glacier with very few problems. Additional NPS personnel met the evacuation team at the foot of the Inter Glacier with the Anderson Wheeled Stokes litter and the White River Bergtrage; they assisted with Sabella’s evacuation to the Glacier Basin trailhead where he was met by his wife and taken for medical attention. (Source: J. Krambink and J. Springer, Rangers, Mount Rainier National Park)


The same comment applies as was made about the March 12 glissading accident on Cowlitz Cleaver. (Source: J. Williamson)

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