American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Failure of Nut — California, Yosemite Valley

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

FALL ON ROCK, FAILURE OF NUT

California, Yosemite Valley

On September 14, 1982, around 1400, Jim Slichter (27) was leading Pitch 24 of Pancake Flake on The Nose on El Capitan when an aid nut he was standing on pulled and he fell three meters. He struck his left foot very hard on a ledge, causing a possible fracture. His partner lowered him to the belay and led for the rest of the day, stopping at Camp 6, Pitch 25, for the night. The next day his partner led all the pitches while he jumared. They topped out around 1400. His partner then hiked to the valley and reported the incident to the Sunnyside fee collector. A helicopter evacuation was successfully completed on September 16. (Source: Robert Williams, Ranger, Yosemite National Park)

Analysis

The primary purpose in reporting this accident is to highlight the capability and appropriate actions of this climbing party. SAR Ranger John Dill sent several reports of accidents in which climbers rescued themselves or reported immediately to the rangers after returning late. Dill’s recent interviews with many climbers in the valley reveal that an encouraging percentage have this positive attitude. Given the nature of the majority of the reports found herein, readers of Accidents in North American Mountaineering should consider this. (Source: J. Williamson)

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