American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Failure of Piton, Inadequate Equipment, Washington, The Tooth

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

FALL ON ROCK, FAILURE OF PITON, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT

Washington, The Tooth

On September 13, 1981, David Erickson (25) fell 150 feet from the East Face of The Tooth. His partner, Steve Bremner (26) said, “When he first fell, the pitons held for a second or two and that broke his momentum. Then they gave out and he went down in midair. He never touched rock. I stopped him with a dynamic belay, then he slammed into rock.” Bremner then lowered Erickson onto a ledge and anchored the two of them. “Dave’s pack had fallen below.… I gave him my shirt and slept in my T-shirt.”

The pair had no overnight camping gear.

Sunday morning, relatives reported the climbers overdue and King County police began a search.

A MAST helicopter from Fort Lewis dropped seven climbers at the summit of The Tooth late Sunday. They moved Erickson to a rock basin, where he was airlifted out the morning of September 14. Bremner suffered no injuries. (Source: The Seattle Times, September 15, 1981)

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