American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Colorado, Mount Powell

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

FALL ON ROCK

Colorado, Mount Powell

On September 5, 1983, Donald Thomas (30) fell 60 meters to his death in a gully while trying to rescue his dog, according to Tim Cochran, a member of the Vail Mountain Rescue Group.

Cochran said search parties began looking for Thomas after his wife reported him overdue from a Saturday climb.

Thomas’ dog had climbed onto a narrow ledge and could not climb back down. Thomas was trying to retrieve the dog when he (Thomas) fell into the gully, Cochran said. The dog was found uninjured. (Source: Chieftain and Star Journal, Pueblo, Colorado, September 6, 1983)

Analysis

This is one of many reports from around the state of Colorado sent to the editor by AAC member Freddie Carter. This hiking accident is one which resulted in death. In each case, the individuals involved were focusing on something other than their footing, such as photography, adjusting a pack, or talking with another person. While not included as climbing accidents, these cases are described for hikers who can easily find themselves in climbing situations should they stray from the trail. (Source: J. Williamson)

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