American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Ice, Inadequate Protection — Ontario, Dundas, Webster's Falls

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1983


Ontario, Dundas, Webster’s Falls

On January 31, 1982, Harry Fletcher (32) and Doris Ullman (29) were ice climbing on Webster’s Falls. Fletcher, who was leading, had reached a point about one meter below the top of the twelve-meter waterfall. He found that the ice was harder at this point than lower down and that his tools were not placing as well. He was also tiring and, as a consequence, not using his crampons effectively. In adjusting his crampon placement, he changed the angle of his tools in relation to the ice and, when he raised his arm to advance, all three points of contact popped out. His last ice screw was too low to prevent him from landing on a rock ledge about five meters below. He broke both ankles and both legs. (Source: H. Fletcher)


I should have used more protection and also done more practicing on vertical water ice. (Source: H. Fletcher)

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