American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall through Ice, Inadequate Equipment, Alaska, Keystone Canyon

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1984


Alaska, Keystone Canyon

An ice climbing party of experienced climbers was approaching Bridal Veil Falls (V), which requires crossing the Lowe River, early in the season (November), and found the river ice much thinner than usual. David McCabe (23) crossed by wading with bare feet, and near the opposite side, he fell through thin ice over water half a meter deep. He sustained abrasions and contusions on his ankles and shins. (Source: Dr. Andrew Embick, Valdez, Alaska)


Chest waders, or at least boots, are recommended for this situation. Sometimes it’s worth carrying an extra pair of sneakers or old single boots just for river crossings, especially in Alaska. (Source: J. Williamson)

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