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Rappel Failure, Failure to Test Anchor, Inexperience, Utah Wasatch Range

RAPPEL FAILURE, FAILURE TO TEST ANCHOR, INEXPERIENCE

Utah, Wasatch Range

On February 23, 1983, Kurt Fashimpuar (18) fell fifteen meters onto a scree slope when his two-and-a-half-centimeter webbing sling anchor broke just as he was about to rappel. He suffered a cerebral concussion and a fractured coccyx. (Source: Dr. Richard Wallin, Salt Lake City)

Analysis

Fashimpuar’s friends had placed the webbing sling through a three-piton anchor system, but was unfamiliar with the self-equalizing setup. Without testing the anchor or checking for sharp-angled rock contact, Fashimpuar backed up two steps and the webbing parted, probably from being cut on a sharp edge. He had just purchased the sling, and had never climbed with experienced people before. (Source: Dr. Richard Wallin, Salt Lake City)