Loss of Control, Voluntary Glissade, Washington, Pinnacle Peak Basin

Publication Year: 1982.


Washington, Pinnacle Peak Basin

Around 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 12, an unidentified member of a Seattle Mountaineers party of 120 persons came to the Paradise First Aid office and stated that a member of their party had dislocated his shoulder while practicing self-arrest at Pinnacle Peak Basin.

Park Rangers Gary D. Olson and Lee Henkle went to the scene with three members of the Seattle group to effect the evacuation of the injured climber, G. Alex Miller. The rescue team arrived at the scene at noon. Miller complained of pain in his right shoulder. A doctor at the scene and a nurse named Margarette stated that they believed Miller’s right shoulder was dislocated. The two rangers and 30 members of The Mountaineers carried and slid Miller down to Reflection Lake, arriving at 2:15 p.m. Miller and other members of the party gave the following account of the accident.

Miller was practicing self-arrest on his back and tried to stop himself. He had the head of the ax in his right hand and dislocated his right shoulder when he attempted to stop himself; he then let go of the ice ax and slid farther down the hill. He slid 300–400 feet in all. Miller was unroped at the time of the accident. Miller, who was transported to Seattle from the park by members of his party, stated he would go to the University of Washington Hospital. (Source: Gary Olson, Ranger, Mount Rainier National Park)