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Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection — California, Yosemite Valley

FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

California, Yosemite Valley

On July 22, 1982, Thomas Kirkley (22) fell while climbing above the Devil’s Bathtub behind the Ahwanee Hotel. He was two meters above a fixed piton which he had not tested adequately. The force of his fall, which resulted in a broken left ankle, pulled the piton; his total fall was ten meters. He was rescued by Park Rangers who lowered him 100 meters in a Stokes litter. (Source: Dan Dellinges, Ranger, Yosemite National Park)

ANALYSIS

As pitons are used less frequently and as the “history” of their placement is forgotten, more mishaps are occurring, as will be seen. Old pins and bolts need to be considered carefully before they are relied on. (Source: J. Williamson)